Inspirational city role models can help young women to think big17 May 2012
Nottingham is unique for a whole host of reasons - we're the least car dependent city in the UK, the youngest UK core city and the most energy self sufficient.
We have much to be proud of.
But what struck Alistair Campbell most when he attended an event in Nottingham last year was the number of senior positions held by women.
He posted about it on his blog, listing the roll call of female leaders at the time - the Chief Constable, the city council's chief executive, the head of the Probation Service, a prison Governor, the Sheriff, the High Sheriff, a university pro-vice chancellor and the country's first female black High Court judge.
So is it a coincidence, or is Nottingham different in its attitudes to the progression of women to senior leadership roles?
Historically, the lace and textile industry in the city meant a female-dominated workforce and is probably the source of the much quoted myth that there is a high ratio of women to men in the city.
This long track record of women in the workplace may well be the foundation for the volume of successful female leaders today.
Whatever the reason, the Women in Nottingham network established by the city council's chief executive, Jane Todd, is working to ensure that the next generation of young women in Nottingham is inspired to pick up the baton and continue the trend.
The Women in Nottingham event held at the Contemporary a couple of weeks ago demonstrated the typical enthusiasm and engagement shown by women for supporting and encouraging one another to aspire to senior leadership positions.
The network has even produced a film, featuring Nottingham's senior women, giving an insight into the journeys they took to reach their positions and their experiences of being leaders.
Many don't consider themselves role models, but they offer inspirational advice and guidance to young women encouraging them to think big and achieve their potential.
I feel strongly that those of us in leadership positions have a responsibility to ensure that the progress made in establishing equality both in society and the workplace continues and that the next generation of young women have every opportunity to succeed.