Ayrshire business group aim to make history in 2014

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Ayrshire’s leading business, entrepreneurial and professional women’s group is set to mark its 20th anniversary this year with a ‘regal’ celebration of International Women’s Day.

On March 25th, the Ayrshire Association of Business Women (AABW) will transport members and guests back to the sixteenth century to meet Mary Queen of Scots, aka Lesley Smith, historian and curator of Tutbury Castle who is travelling to Scotland especially for this exclusive AABW event at Ayr’s Brig O’Doon Hotel.

As arguably Scotland’s most internationally-recognised female figure, and a woman who was at the centre of international affairs throughout her life, ‘Mary’ will discuss her life and loves, and offer her take on the pressing issues which continue to face women as leaders and entrepreneurs. Lesley Smith will take to the stage in full, authentic costume, drawing on her expert knowledge of the Scottish Queen, particularly her time as a prisoner at Tutbery Castle in the Midlands.

However, in a break with tradition, members of the audience will also have an opportunity to question ‘Mary’ on current issues facing women in business, the workplace and the professions in the twenty-first century, before enjoying a two course networking dinner.

“Lesley is a highly accomplished speaker and expert in her field. Her presentations are as entertaining as they are informative, so we were thrilled when she accepted our invitation to speak at our 20th anniversary event,” said AABW President Liz Cooper. “Whilst the evening will be a light-hearted take on an important chapter in Scotland’s history, it will also cover issues faced by business women today, and as always with our International Women’s Day events, we will be inviting senior students from local schools to participate, as well as members and their guests.”

The event is one of a number being held by AABW throughout 2014 following a record-breaking year which saw membership increase and ticket sell-outs for the business women’s association. Open to all women in Ayrshire who either work in or are interested in business and enterprise, AABW’s informal, relaxed approach to networking combines with a wide variety of relevant events held at venues throughout Ayrshire. AABW is supported by East, North and South Ayrshire Councils, as well as the Klin Group who partnered AABW in launching a Women in Enterprise initiative led by business women Marie Macklin. The Association, which is affiliated to the Association of Scottish Businesswomen, has also recently launched a new website (www.aabw.org.uk) with updated details of forthcoming events.

“2013 was an outstanding year for AABW, with record membership, record sponsorship and unprecedented success by our members at the national Scottish Business Women Awards,” continues Liz. “2014 is our 20th anniversary and so we are planning a wide, varied and entertaining series of events throughout year all with excellent networking opportunities as well as the chance to learn something new within a less formal, relaxed format.”