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Celebrating International Women's Day - Clare Hayward MBE DL, Director, Cirrus

International Womens Day 07/03/2022

Hear from Clare Hayward MBE DL, Director, Cirrus


Clare Hayward MBE DL,
Director, Cirrus, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP

Clare Hayward MBE DL, Director of Cirrus and Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP shares what her organisation is doing to be more inclusive and drive change and what a diverse and inclusive future means to her:

"This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is all about ‘breaking the bias’ which is especially pertinent to our aims in Cheshire and Warrington.

We are committed to being the UK’s most inclusive economy, which means we want an economy that works for everyone that lives here – including women – and to improve outcomes for those women.

We’ve seen the pandemic have a disproportionate impact on women compared to men both socially and economically, in areas such as mental health and unemployment. At the same time though we have seen more and more women looking to start their own businesses. So for us, it is about trying to make more opportunities for women and ensure the work we do truly enables and supports the many women already in business to continue to thrive.

We know women offer so much in the world of business and we see so many strong female leaders across all fields. Women leaders can offer a purpose driven approach to change, which will help us to grow our economy and attract the investment we need. Many of the women I work with have an incredible ability to collaborate, balance intelligence, vision and empathy, role model an inclusive mindset and recognise the importance of the people they lead.  

We are proud to be ambitious in Cheshire and Warrington, we will be a leader in creating an inclusive, sustainable and healthy economy and aim to be a world leader in Net Zero through projects such as HyNet.  The only way to achieve ambitions like this is to truly have everyone around the table.  We need to be collaborating in an inclusive manner, with the best we have to offer – no matter what gender, what background, what role – everyone can offer their expertise, experience and energy.

While we are seeing improvements in the numbers of women starting businesses and women in senior roles at companies, we do still need to go further and faster, and we’re determined to make sure we offer all the support we can to make sure every woman has the opportunity to seize that opportunity with both hands."