The 2017 Wayfinder Group conference

Dame Shirley and Laura Murphy
Dame Shirley and Laura Murphy

Businesses came from across Sussex and Kent to hear from acclaimed local and global speakers, headlined by IoD Lifetime Achievement award winner,  Dame ‘Steve’ Stephanie Shirley, at The Wayfinder Group’s  Inspiring Through Technology Conference at East Sussex National on 12 May.

Dame Shirley, a kindertransport refugee, set up her tech business with £6 and her house as collateral, whilst being the mother of an autistic son. She made her employees millionaires when she sold it and travels the world, motivating the next generation of entrepreneurs. She certainly did that at The Wayfinder Group Conference!

Founder of the charitable organisation, also known as WayfinderWoman, Laura Murphy said, “90% of SMEs say digital affects their business and we wanted to share the secrets of success. Dame Shirley encourages women to access the amazing career opportunities in STEM industries and technology in particular. Talking about the difficulties she overcame to succeed in a male dominated industry inspired everyone there.”

Prof Karen Cham from Brighton University who works with blue-chip clients and local tech initiatives amazed the audience with her visionary, ground-breaking work and then said, ‘I still walk into buildings where the only other women are on reception or in the canteen and am constantly referred to as ‘Mrs’ when I am not even married. And as for being called Professor…’

Alistair Wickens, CEO of the roadtohealthgroup took his small Sussex based business to international success and spoke passionately about how, using technology, nimble, flexible SMEs can outperform large business.

For new entrepreneurs, Mina O’Brien from Ditzy Media and Katie Diacon, one time RAF aerospace engineer and now on-line entrepreneur shared their own incredible stories.

Peter Dunsby, director, EcoMatters commenting on the day said: “I've been sat in front of brilliant management teams on many occasions in my banking career. I've been to a few conferences in my time too. This one topped them all.”

If you want to know more about The Wayfinder Group and how they support women in the workplace contact Laura on info@wayfinderwoman.com