Executive director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative Rosemary French has been to Windsor Palace to receive her OBE from the Queen in recognition of her work to help women in business.
By the age of 34, Rosemary was the managing director of a £20m greeting card and stationery manufacturing company with 120 employees. Since then, she has gone on to use her experience as managing director of Business Link Surrey and, most recently, as executive director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, a not for profit economic partnership driving business growth in the Gatwick Diamond region.
She saw first-hand how difficult it could be for women to break into the business world and has worked to lobby for advice and support for women starting their own businesses.
Ms French said: “I feel extremely honoured to have been awarded an OBE and to receive the award from the Queen herself is the icing on the cake! I hope that my award will inspire many more women to pursue their ambitions in the corporate world or in setting up their own businesses.”
She added: “Things have improved greatly and today we see so many positive female role models. Within the Gatwick Diamond area, in particular, we see some highly successful women leading our largest companies as well as running successful entrepreneurial ventures. But more still needs to be done to help women feel empowered and informed in business and when making their career choices.”