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Episode Info: Amanda: Hello and welcome to episode 8 of the Inspiring Women Interviews podcast. Today I am interviewing Sue [Lawton 00:00:14] MB. Sue is a global expert on women and enterprise. She creates business opportunities for women entrepreneurs and she’s a founder of Reconnect Europe, establishing the WEConnect International Program around the world. WEConnect is a global charity and it connects women business owners with corporation contract opportunities, something that traditionally women have found difficult to do. Sue has also worked extensively with underrepresented communities around the world including the US, Canada, Australia, Turkey and Belize and she continues as an advisor to WEConnect International and also to WIPP International whose mission is to build powerful, collaborative networks among leading women lead organizations. She does that to help them leverage their joint power to negotiate policy and economic solutions to help women to achieve economic independence and participate fully in their countries economic growth. Sue is also currently working with the Secretary at the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment and I will be asking Sue about this during the interview. She holds an MA and is a special advisor to the APPG for Women in Enterprise. She’s a fellow of the RSA and a trustee at the Commonwealth Girl’s Education Fund and she’s been awarded a MBE for services promoting women’s business and leadership worldwide so an absolutely wonderful podcast guest and really, really privileged to be interviewing you. Thank you for being here today Sue. Sue: It’s my pleasure. Amanda: Sue, I was just asking you before about … I said, “Are you a mom?” You said, “Yes. I have 2 boys aged 36 and 38.” They have obviously flown the nest now, but I just wanted to really start at the beginning and how you started your career? Sue: I started my career as a social worker so I’ve always had a social conscience. I came from an area of Lancashire that was not very affluent and I did not pass my 11-plus so I went to a secondary modern school which took me a long time to then catch up academically, but I was in school with lots of deprived children and it made me realize that there was much social work to be done so social worker. Amanda: I remember the secondary model system and the perception was it’s either grammar school or secondary modern and if you get into secondary modern then your life is over. You’re doomed. Sue: That’s absolutely correct. It took me until I was 16 and a lot of determination to finely be able to transfer from a secondary modern to a grammar school, but it was funny, once I got into the grammar school I then went to an all girls’ Catholic convent grammar school and it was completely different so instead I applied to do a year as a foreign exchange student in America and instead of doing upper 6, I went and did 12th grade in an American high school which was a very interesting experie...
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