everywoman's Maxine Benson Talks Women in Business and Diversity With The Guardian
"I'm passionate about role models: they don't realise the long shadow they cast"
everywoman co-founder Maxine Benson MBE sat down to discuss diversity and female role models with The Guardian's Diversity Hub:
Maxine Benson left school at 17 with five O-levels. Her early work experience took her from Barclays Bank in Poole, Dorset, to the travel industry in Australia, then to a film casting company in New York. Maxine returned to the UK in 1999 and, with her business partner Karen Gill, started everywoman to support women in business. It is now a 40,000-strong member's organisation that works closely with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. She was awarded an MBE in 2009.
How did you start everywoman?
I decided to set up a membership support network for women in business, with my business partner Karen Gill, to address the difficulties women had in starting and running their own companies. We consulted with government, because they needed policy changes, had drawings of the website we wanted and started knocking on the doors of any organisation that would 'get' our business....