Here’s a fact. There are fewer women in top jobs than men.

The exact numbers and reasons vary – depending on what you read – but one thing is for sure. Inspiring more women to work their way towards top-level careers can only be good for society, and the economy.

One way to provide that inspiration is to celebrate the success of women already achieving great things.

So I was delighted to see Rachel Clacher win the ‘business’ category at the Inspiring Women Awards in Manchester recently.

And I’ll let you into a secret. I nominated Rachel.

Here’s why.

Rachel Clacher - Moneypenny

Rachel Clacher at the 2015 Inspiring Women Awards (picture by Tom Martin).

 

got the t-shirt

Rachel is co-founder of telephone answering specialist and outsourced switchboard provider, Moneypenny.

Moneypenny started life as a small enterprise right here in Wrexham.

But – with her brother Ed Reeves – Rachel has grown it into an international business with offices in New Zealand and Charleston, South Carolina in the US.

The company employs over 400 people at its Wrexham HQ, and consistently makes the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Moneypenny also made headlines recently when it revealed plans for a stunningly innovative new office building.

So she’s built a business from scratch, and not just any business.

But there’s more to her professional life than that.

As well as growing her own business, Rachel spends a lot of time inspiring other business leaders – both men and women.

She shares her experience and expertise through the Leadership and Management Wales programme (sponsored by Welsh Government).

And plays no small part in inspiring women within her own company. A fact borne out by Moneypenny winning the ‘nurturing female talent’ category.

In addition, Rachel last year set-up the Moneypenny Foundation to give unemployed young women new opportunities in life and work – combining employment experiences in a range of industry sectors with life-coaching, mentoring and gaining new skills.

So yes. Two awards in one night!

Rachel says: “The awards came as a complete surprise, but a lovely one.

“Setting up Moneypenny has been the biggest challenge, yet at the same time, one of the biggest joys of my life and the Foundation is very much a team effort, so I’m grateful to everyone who is making it possible.”

 

inspiring women awards 2016

The Inspiring Women Awards were founded in 1992 to raise money for charity.

They’re a fantastic platform for celebrating the achievements of women with inspirational stories to tell, and I was really moved by some of the people I met on the night.

Nominations for the 2016 awards open in September.

Details can be found on the website.

If you want to help encourage women in business, social enterprise and the public sector, well…maybe you know someone worth nominating?

If you do, go for it.

You might help inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders.