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Clare Lara won Masterchef the Professionals in 2010
‘Masterchef the Professionals’ first female winner, Claire Lara, told audiences at the University of Liverpool’s alumni ‘Women in Business’ event, that confidence is a skill that women should be taught at an early age in order to succeed as business leaders in later life.
Speaking at the networking evening, aimed at celebrating International Women’s Day, Claire spoke about her journey on the BBC programme and her success since leaving the show as a partner in the RiverHill Restaurant in Oxton, Wirral.
The event was organised by the University’s Management School, in collaboration with The Women’s Organisation, and focused on women’s achievements, giving guests the opportunity to network and ask a panel of entrepreneurs questions about the key to running a successful business.
Claire said: “Confidence is a key part in taking your first steps into business, and particularly if you have left a stable job to start up on your own. In our schools we focus a lot on academic skills, but confidence building exercise is something that is often overlooked.
“For women, who are more reserved in promoting their talents, knowing how to project confidence to potential clients and investors is crucial to success in a competitive and often male dominated environment.”
Other speakers at the event, which was chaired by University Ambassador, Lady Sheila Newby, included Director of High Performance Consultancy, Victoria Brown and founder of Negotiation Intelligence, Jenny Radcliffe.
Supporting women in business
Jenny is an expert in non-verbal communications, and discussed how being able to read body language can give you valuable insights into how to approach business partners, clients, staff and investors to promote your business ideas and skills, as well as how to behave under stressful conditions.
Victoria spoke about how she used her University of Liverpool degree in business psychology to set up her own HR business. She is now an experienced professional in employment law, employee relations, redundancies and change management.
The Women’s Organisations Training Co-Ordinate, Bernie Cox, said: “Women make up more than half of our population but less that 15% are business leaders in their own companies. There is still a lot of work to be done in supporting women in business, but events like these bring like-minded people together to share their experiences and inspire others to take their first steps in this challenging and rewarding area or work.”
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