Merseyside Independent Business Women: An interview with Lesley Martin-Wright


Lesley Martin-Wright

CEO, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce

Where is your business and what does it do?

Knowsley Chamber of Commerce is a well-respected organisation that has been serving and supporting companies in Knowsley and the city region since 1987. We provide a large range of support services, including business programmes, training, advice, guidance and practical information to companies of all different sizes and sectors (including start-ups, SMES, large companies, third sector organisations and charities). Over the last few years Knowsley has gained an enviable reputation for enterprise, innovation, investment and business growth. We’re working hard with our partners to create a ‘borough of choice’ and make Knowsley a place where people chose to live, work, visit and invest in.

What makes you a leader?/What does it mean to you to be a female leader?/Your journey?

As a leader you must be true to your core values and principles, and create a culture of trust. You must remain grounded, because leadership is not something you do, it comes from within. Over the years I have sought out other people (role models) who can help me to grow as a person and as a leader; and I am open to learning something from every activity I undertake, opportunities that occur and, of course, the people I meet and work with. I believe that being a female leader is an advantage – there’s a motivation about being successful in your chosen field and standing out in a commercial place where there is still a large propensity of men. Starting out in Northumberland my curiosity about how the business world works took me to Singapore at the age of 21, then to London for 10 years, and now I’m in Liverpool. I’m quite comfortable “in my own skin” and I think that’s an important message for women starting out on their journey and embracing a career…..

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

Getting things done through and with a great team of people. Success is not a solitary activity – there’s so much to be said about having a culture of recognition and positive energy. We’re about building Knowsley’s reputation as a place of outstanding opportunity.

Your best piece of advice for women in independent business?

Be yourself. Outstanding leaders are “good to be with” so recognise what “good” looks like and you won’t go far wrong.