Richmond businesswoman backs project helping female-owned companies to grow


Lynne Parker met with government minister Lynne Featherstone to discuss challenges women in business face.


By Hubert MacGreevy

Female entrepreneurs from across South West London met with government minister Lynne Featherstone last week to discuss the empowerment of women in business.

Richmond-based business woman, Lynne Parker, was among ten other business women attending a private meeting to discuss the challenges female-led enterprises face and the ways the Government can help them.

The entrepreneurs have received support from the Make it Global project work, which helps London-based companies which are majority female-owned.

Ms Parker founded Funny Women several years ago to train other women in building their confidence for the public sphere. She is now the executive producer of the company and spoke positively about the changes taking place in the business world.

“The business world is changing,” she said. “I am helping to foster that change. Make It Global works with female entrepreneurs and it’s about giving women the confidence they need to start up.”

She explained how Funny Women was a part of that change and its aims were improving confidence and communication for women in the professional world. Funny Women runs work-shop skills training, which prepares women for a wide spectrum of different challenges from stand-up comedy to interview practice.

“I like helping other people to achieve their goals,” she explained.

Ms Parker emphasises the need for a ‘can-do’ attitude in work as well as the need for collaborative work between women and men.

“Men have a different physical make-up to women,” she said. “We are programmed differently to men. From the day we are cognisant as women, this is something we are aware of.”

Ms Parker is keen to stress that whilst a feminist, her views are not hostile to the role of men in the work-place. What she supports is a fair gender balance, which allows equal opportunities in business.

“When you have too many men imposing their masculine values on politics and business, you have got to have a balance,” she said. “I want equality for the men in my life as well as for the women. It is so important that we learn to get the best out of each other.”

Ms Parker praised the support given to Make It Global by Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Regional Development and Liberal Democrat MP at last week’s conference.

“I think we do need government support to make sure women have ambassadors at all levels,” she added.

When asked about women, like Margaret Thatcher, who supposedly ‘pulled up the ladder’ to prevent other women from following them, Ms. Parker implied that this is still a common occurrence in society.  

“What you do get with these sorts of women is the idea to have the fight on her own,” she said. “Had Margaret Thatcher had more women in her cabinet, she may have survived a bit longer.”

To date, the Make It Global project has worked with 290 businesses across London.

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