‘Smash the glass ceiling’, urges Women’s Organisation co-founder Maggie O’Carroll

She was speaking at the 21st birthday celebration for the Liverpool social enterprise which has has helped more than 50,000 women to create, or improve, their own businesses. Neil Hodgson reports

From left, Maggie O’Carroll , Lucy Byrne, and artists Joanne Thompson and Olga Snell

Women across the Liverpool city region are being urged to “smash the glass ceiling” and continue to keep pushing on into higher positions in businesses and institutions.

That was the message from from Maggie O’Carroll, co-founder and chief executive of The Women’s Organisation, at its 21st birthday celebrations.

Since it was established in 1996, originally as Train 2000, the Baltic Triangle-based organisation has helped more than 50,000 women to create, or improve, their own businesses.

Still a gap

And, while while there has been progress in narrowing the gender gap in terms of wages and opportunities, Maggie said much more needs to be done.

Addressing more than 80 guests at the birthday celebration event, she said: “We are not anti-middle aged men, but it is a problem when the only voice heard, is that,” she said.

“We need more women in higher positions, because we have the right.

“In terms of the organisation and what it has done, we are simply responding to something that is desperately needed.”

She added: “I want to let all girls know that it is possible, and you can act as a role model, too.

“The glass ceiling doesn’t just need to be broken, it needs to be smashed.”

Exhibition launch

The birthday event was held in collaboration with dot-art, founded in Liverpool 11 years ago by entrepreneur Lucy Byrne.

Dot-art brings art and business together and now supports more than 100 local artists.

During the party an 18-month exhibition by two renowned female artists was launched.

Work by Joanne Thompson and Olga Snell will be on display throughout The Women’s Organisation’s 54 St James Street headquarters for 18 months.

Working together

Two other women at the event, Claire and Rhiannon, spoke about their experiences of The Women’s Organisation, saying: “You know if you ask a question and somebody can answer it or help, they always will, and it’s that kind of ethos.

“It’s not about competing, it’s about working together and helping people to get started.

“t’s a real testament to Maggie, actually, because she has such tenacity, she won’t let it go and will always speak up, and you need people like that – you can’t do without them.”

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