THE region’s best businesswomen have been urged to seize a "golden opportunity" to help drive its economic growth.

Sonia Roberts said the chance for outstanding executive businesswomen from across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire, to join the board of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership was too good an opportunity to miss.

Ms Roberts, chief executive officer of Telford-based charity Landau and a member of the Marches LEP board for three years, said women could bring a new perspective to the board and help ensure it fully represented the whole community.

The LEP – the body responsible for promoting growth in the region and setting its strategic economic priorities – has two vacancies and says it is particularly keen to hear from high-calibre board-level or executive businesswomen to help improve its gender equality.

Ms Roberts said: “This is an absolutely golden opportunity for any successful businesswomen to play a leading part in shaping the economy of this region.

“These are roles in which you can make a significant difference, have a real impact through deciding our investment priorities and give something back.

“As a board, the LEP needs to have a wide, enriched view which reflects the communities it represents and in which it operates. Without that, we will have a distorted view of those communities and won’t be able to serve them fully.

“I firmly believe more women should be involved in the economic development of our area. I think they can bring a different perspective to business and look at things differently. Women will quite often ask challenging questions and have a knack of getting into the real detail of things.

“Whilst much of women’s experience in business is the same as men’s there are some significant differences, and certainly some challenges. By joining the LEP board women can help ensure these differences and challenges are reflected in the decisions we make.

“In the past three years I have witnessed the economic decisions I have been involved with translated into projects that are shaping our local economies and bringing prosperity to all our communities. And I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderfully inspiring people, it is immensely rewarding.”

Applicants should have a strong knowledge or expertise in the region’s industry and either live or work in the Marches.

The board meets six times a year and membership will be for a minimum of two years on a voluntary basis.

Expressions of interest should be emailed along with a short biography or CV to Gill Hamer at by 12.00pm on March 28.

To find out more about the roles call Gill Hamer on 01743 462026.