Meat Business Women hits new peaks with latest networking event
Published:  27 May, 2016

The latest Meat Business Women networking event has been hailed as a success by the conference’s organiser, Laura Ryan. 

Sponsored by Meat Trades Journal, the group offers women within the meat industry a platform to network with one another. The most recent meet-up, which took place on Wednesday 25 May 2016, had a theme of ‘Reaching Your Peak’.

The two keynote speakers were Bonita Norris, one of the UK’s leading adventurers, and Alex Hamilton-Bailey, partner at executive search company Odgers Berndtson. Their presentations were preceded by speeches from three industry personalities.

“Wednesday went really, really well and there are a couple of reasons for that,” explained Ryan, who also serves as strategy director for AHDB Beef & Lamb. “We changed the event a little bit in that we started with three presentations from delegates from the room.”

The presentations were delivered by: Penny Tomlinson from Fairfax Meadow; Michelle Butler, general manager of Bord Bia in London; and Emma Hallam, head of food service at Moy Park.

“They took 10 minutes each to talk about their route to role and how they ended where they ended up,” said Ryan. “What was really interesting was that none of them had made a conscious decision to end up in the meat industry but ended up here and are now very passionate about it and want to promote the industry.

“They discussed surprises that they had along the way and how they seized opportunities, and that set up perfectly the keynote speaker Bonita Norris, who was just fantastic.”

Norris, who is the youngest person to reach both the summit of Mount Everest and the North Pole, discussed with the room how she went from a novice climber to scaling the world’s tallest mountain in only two years. “To hear that in practice was really inspiring,” commented Ryan, who described it as a “true goose-pimple moment”.

Norris’ speech was followed by Hamilton-Bailey who has recruited people in the industry, giving him an understanding into the sector. He advised delegates on how to stand out from the crowd from a recruiter’s point-of-view.

The event was finished off with a networking lunch for the delegates. “As soon as it was finished people were asking ‘when’s the next one?’ There’s been a lot of interest already,” Ryan concluded.

“It’s really exciting. We just need to work out how we shape up the next event and how we deliver it. The appetite in the industry just continues to grow.”