My Herts Life: Lindsay Loxley
PUBLISHED: 12:10 01 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:11 07 September 2015
Gail D'Almaine 2014
As the Women in Business Network, founded in Herts, celebrates its 10th anniversary, we talk to managing director Lindsay Loxley about its success
What is the Women in Business Network?
It’s a networking organisation which brings together women who want to grow their businesses. Each group meets once a month to share ideas, offer support and pass on referrals. It’s a very encouraging environment where we try to help each other to succeed, rather than hard sell to the rest of the group.
Who is involved?
The network is aimed at professional and entrepreneurial women, whether they own their own businesses or are decision-makers in larger organisations. We have a real range of members, from creative one-man bands such as jewellery makers, graphic designers and photographers to partners in professional service industries such as solicitors, financial advisers and business consultants.
What are the keys to the network’s success?
We’re really proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. Having started in Hertfordshire in 2005, WIBN has grown into a network of more than 90 groups across the country. Our members not only value the supportive nature of the group but they come away with quality business leads. As well as building contacts, many members go on to make lasting friendships.
It’s also an attractive business opportunity for our franchisees, as they are able to earn a decent living from running a group and it fits around existing work and family commitments.
As well as being MD, you still attend a Hertford group. How did you get involved with the network?
I stumbled across one of the first groups when a client of mine had been delayed for a meeting. I not only found myself staying for the session but wanting to get involved in taking the WIBN business forward. In 2011, I was able to realise that ambition when I took over as managing director, overseeing the development of the network and almost doubling the number of franchisees over the past four years.
What challenges do business women face and what insights can you offer?
There’s no doubt that things have improved for women in the workplace over the years but there are still issues such as the gender pay gap and the fact that women are under-represented at board level. While there are more opportunities for flexible working, many women feel at a disadvantage if they choose to go part-time, even though they make up a significant proportion of the workforce.
Having always worked in environments that were male-dominated and juggled my career with raising a family, I know what a challenge it is to succeed when everything seems to be working against you.
However, I’m a firm believer that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. That’s not just in business but in all areas of life. I’ve recently passed my sailing crew training, even though I can hardly swim, because I’m fascinated by boats and don’t want to end up in the galley cooking dinner! If you apply that to business – you have to set your sights on where you want to be and do all you can to overcome fears and challenges that might hold you back. That’s why WIBN really makes a difference by giving women the confidence and support to help them to achieve their ambitions. It’s such a joy to watch businesses grow and it’s a great privilege to be part of their success. >>>
To find a WIBN group near you, visit wibn.co.uk