Plates upon plates of scrumptious veggie food, countless cups of chai, plenty of cheer and a very lively, focused interaction on a range of issues. Such is lunching with your local MP, Mary Macleod.
A group of women with a shared interest in entrepreneurship and leadership invited Mary Macleod MP (Isleworth & Brentford) to join them for lunch and conversation on Saturday at the popular local Indian restaurant Shree Krishna Vada Pav in Hounslow. Mary — well known as a champion for women and small businesses — responded to a wide range of questions (such as support for start up businesses, children’s safety, secondary education, schools enrolment, facilities for new mums, health care advice for families, training & opportunities of growth for women) and listened intently to the many stories of the entrepreneurs and local community workers present.
“I always encourage women to take on challenges,” she said, “whether it is setting up business or taking interest in local issues and politics. It is important to realise that you are not just one little person but that you carry the potential of bringing about real change.”
Mary also shared the story of how she became an MP, which enthused the ladies and inspired them to want to take on even bigger challenges in their respective spheres of work.
Louisa Steensma, VP HR of Getty Images (UK) was among those present at the meeting. She, too, shared her personal story, and said: “I always encourage women to form little communities and to look out for each other.”
Manu Khajuria Singh, a school governor and community activist, was present at the meeting. “It’s always inspiring to be in the company of smart and brave women,” she said. “Everybody spoke so well. I learnt so much and personally loved the bits on women’s roles in politics.”
Sita Uppu, a therapeutic yoga professional, described the lunch session as useful and very motivational. And not to wonder. It was indeed a fruitful meeting of the various independent enterprises of the women gathered, to which Mary Macleod brilliantly contributed her expert knowledge, drawing upon twenty years’ experience of business consultancy.