I was speaking at Lend Lease on International Women’s Day and I recently spoke at Nat West HQ on women in business. I’m always keen to promote how women in business are equal, but in truth I am keen not to be rated by gender but by ability and capability to perform the task and therein it is inevitable there will be more men in employment than women because women have babies and men don’t.

Often it is a maternal choice not to return to work competitively but to return specifically for a non-taxing income source. I think legislation provides equality and there is an ambition by employers to be seen to offer equal opportunity but, we must provide the quality stock! I know some women dislike what I say but I am entitled to my opinion. I actually like being female, I love clothes, shoes and men opening doors for me. I don’t want to be a woman behaving like a man to be accepted. I accept fat-bellied men as equally as I accept good looking young men…to do a job; I don’t care other than delivery, performance, honesty and reliability to perform. Black, white, Asian, young, old ….make or female….get over it just step up and perform. What I do support is the opportunity and when one gender is awarded a role, it should not be regarded by industry as better value because the rate is reduced (woman are lower paid) it should be based on performance ability. My drive is supporting equal pay….follow the money!

Lend Lease are the contractors who built the Olympic Village. Their yearning for excellence and willingness to embrace new directions and horizons is proven. It’s always inspiring working with companies or individuals who aim through ideas to create improvement.

I attend the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street with some great business people; I represent the interior design industry, putting forward the strains and influences we suffer at this time. I sit alongside other industries such as funding Visa (lending) sports, market trading, retail, manufacturing, engineering, recruitment etc. The bank provides us with an insight of the current financial position, influences and lending opportunities from the position of national stability. Having considered the information from the four lending banks with information from industry and the four lending banks the Bank of England set interest rates. This is an unpaid role by invitation and I see it as somewhat of an honour to be invited for several years now.

I am looking forward to the September trade shows across so many countries this year where I will present the SBID International design awards. I will be in Amsterdam for the World Design Event and the ECIA AGM then directly onto Paris to give a presentation at Maison & Objet then back to London, 100% Design then up to Harrogate to give a presentation at the great new Flooring Show, finally I head off to Toronto to IDEX where at a gala dinner I will announce the SBID International design awards short listed entries. Many manufacturers display new lines for the first time making it something of a must to attend for professionals. New products are what we as designers need to specify to clients that want different products to consumer’s products.

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