FIVE female leaders will be sharing their stories at an event looking at the role of entrepreneurial women in driving the region’s economy.

The free webinar, on International Women's Day, Monday, will showcase the women's experiences and reflections on how times of economic and social change could make entrepreneurship more accessible for the next generation.

Speakers include Professor Kiran Trehan, University of York's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for partnerships and engagement and director of the Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy & Diversity.

She is a key contributor to debates on leadership, enterprise development and diversity in small firms and business, and has led leadership, enterprise and business support initiatives.

Professor Trehan is also widely published, and in 2019, became the president of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).

She said: "Whilst women are more skilled than ever with over 56 per cent of university graduates being female, there are still fewer women than men occupying senior roles in business and on boards and the average national pay gap between women and men is 17 per cent.

"It’s sad but true that for many women, they simply don’t have the same opportunities as men and Covid-19 has worsened the situation.

"IWD is a great platform to showcase women and their contribution to our economy. I am looking forward to this event and invite people to join us to hear the unfiltered stories of women who are re-addressing the productivity gap."

Other speakers include Bethany Watrous, who graduated from the University of York in 2019 with a Masters in Archaeology of Buildings.

She founded Experience Heritage, which provides 3D modelling, photogrammetry, augmented and virtual reality, mobile and web development, film and photo editing services.

Ann Gurnell, marketing director of York-based Ideas Group, and Delma Tomlin, director of the National Centre for Early Music, join the line-up along with Lady Jane Gibson, founding chair of Make It York and a director of the York & North Yorkshire LEP.

The event, hosted by the York & North Yorkshire LEP and Growth Hub, is from 1pm to 2pm. To join, register at