Merseyside Independent Business Women: An interview with Maggie O’Carroll


Maggie O’Carroll

CEO, The Women’s Organisation
@TheWomensOrg  @TheWomensOrgLiv

Where is your business and what does it do?

The vision of The Women’s Organisation is to inspire and enable women to enjoy equality in every arena of society – at all levels – and to achieve success and prosperity. It is the largest developer and deliverer of training and support for women in the UK. It operates from a £5.3m purpose-built administrative hub in Liverpool city centre. The building also provides incubator space for almost 120 budding entrepreneurs.

What does being a female leader mean to you?

I don’t like to talk about myself as a leader because I see the work of The Women’s Organisation as a huge team effort every day. Our team is one of diverse skills and perhaps being an effective leader is having a team of people such as ours around you, all from different backgrounds, with different lived experiences, skills and characteristics to drive and push us forward. A team is what makes a difference.
To be a woman who is a leader has its own set of difficulties and challenges and many women have experienced them. But the work that we are all doing individually and as a collective is what is important to focus on. As many have said before it would be great to work in world where there are no ‘women leaders’ just ‘leaders’ and that’s what we are working towards
When we first started as Train 2000 Ltd. In 1996 we were the only women whenever we went to a meeting or a networking event and there was mass unemployment amongst women across the city region. Whilst progress is being made and there are now more women in business, there is still work to be done to achieve gender parity.

What’s your favourite thing about going to work each day?

Working with an amazing group of people who are collectively working towards making a difference to the lives of many women locally, nationally and internationally.

Your best piece of advice for women in independent business?

Build a network around you, this is the key! Find role models, find mentors, find friends and tap into the support that is out there for you.