International Women's Day 2022

Posted on Mar 08, 2022

At Learning Curve Group (LCG) we are incredibly proud to be a business that champions diversity, inclusion and putting our Purple People first. On International Women’s Day we would like to celebrate our incredible female leaders that have helped make LCG one of the largest training providers in the country, one of the top 50 organisations to work for in the UK and inspire other women across the business to achieve amazing things.

Learning Curve Group is led by CEO Brenda McLeish OBE, who has taken the business from an employee count of just 40 full-time employees to in excess of 700 and has increased turnover from £1 million to over £40 million. Brenda is not afraid to use her voice, she is an agent of change and is passionate about making a difference, which makes her a brilliant role model for others within the industry.

As well as being awarded an OBE for her dedication to further education in this year’s Queen’s New Year Honours list, Brenda was shortlisted for The North East Chamber of Commerce’s Inspiring Female Business Leader of the Year Award in 2021 and was named as one of the North East’s 50 most influential women in recognition of her contribution and achievements to education and training. In 2019, she was the only female from the North of England to be shortlisted for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme and has since sat on the judging panel to select future winners.

Not only does Brenda inspire her employees, she inspires learners through her humble background of growing up in a deprived area of Teesside, to leading a multi-million pound business. Brenda is a strong believer that you can achieve anything through education and hard work, which is something that inspires her ‘Purple People’.

One of these Purple People is Louise Campbell, who has been an integral part of LCG’s Skills division for 11 years. Louise joined LCG as a temporary administrator in the Flexible Learning department on a 6 week contract, she worked her way up through the ranks taking on a number of roles including Coordinator, Team Leader, Delivery manager and Head of Flexible Learning.

This month, Louise Campbell has been seconded to the position of Acting Director of Skills, to lead on the delivery of LCG’s Level 2 and Level 3 Flexible Learning qualifications, using AEB funding, Advanced Learner Loans and National Skills Fund.

Louise, Director of Skills at LCG, said: “I have always been heavily involved in the vision for the Flexible Learning department at Learning Curve Group and to have the reins handed to me is a fantastic achievement, which I am very proud of. I am really looking forward to continuing our important work with the team to transform more lives through learning. I’m excited to be directly involved in the decision making and to lead the Flexible Learning division forward. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Brenda and the Executive Board, which will be a fantastic experience for my career development.”

Louise will be joining LCG’s Executive Board of 13 Directors who each lead the multiple divisions of the business. With 9 (out of now 13) members of LCG’s Executive Board being women, it is important to the business that they continue to shout about women in leadership roles, the impact they have on the business and support other women to realise their potential. Nicole Bewley is another inspiring member of the Executive Board, who also began her career at LCG as a temporary administrator. She joined the business as its 5th employee and has seen both her career and the business evolve in parallel. Nicole has led great growth in many areas of the organisation and also inspires other women in her teams to progress and develop.

One thing LCG always looks for in acquisitions is great leadership and they were very fortunate to find Judith Allen who is a brilliant inspirational woman. LCG is also proud to have a female Chief Technology Officer, Hannah Marshall, which, according to statistics, is very rare for a woman to be in a technology leadership role. Gail Crossman has been in the education sector for over thirty years and leads on quality and performance at LCG. Gail has worked alongside Brenda for over 20 years and has been a loyal friend and colleague. In 2021, we welcomed the inspiring Rachel Butt to join Gail to lead on quality as Director of Excellence. Leading the HR function is the amazing Louise Clough whose cool calm manner helps encourage and support others in the business. Lizzy Owen leads our curriculum department with her knowledge and experience in the education sector. LCG’s newest member of the Executive Board is Emma Barrett-Peel who has brought her expertise from being an inspector at Ofsted to practice.

Whilst education has traditionally been a sector that is dominated by females, trends suggest that the further up the ranks you get, the less women you find in managerial roles. LCG has always bucked that trend, and having women represented at a high level has undoubtedly influenced the business for the better.

Brenda McLeish OBE, CEO of LCG, said: “I am so proud of Louise and I’m delighted that she is joining the Executive Board to support our mission of transforming lives through learning. Louise’s journey here at LCG has been an incredible one, she joined us over 10 years ago in a temporary position and made such a huge impact that we couldn’t let her go and now she is moving into a Director position. This is an amazing example of how we empower our Purple People to progress in their careers with us and achieve great things.

As a female business leader, it’s an honour to have other women in the business who are as passionate about their work as I am, and I truly believe that women that work hard and have truly changed the landscape of education deserve to be celebrated.”

Louise was keen to succeed in her role at LCG and wanted to take all of the training and development opportunities that came her way. The company supported Louise through two apprenticeships, Level 3 and Level 5 Leadership and Management. Louise says that these apprenticeships have given her the knowledge and skills to develop in her career.

LCG actively encourages all types of CPD to their Purple People. As a training provider it is important that they practice what they preach by enrolling their own employees onto apprenticeships and training. The business has a robust Performance Development and Performance Management policy which highlights to their people that CPD encompasses so much more than classroom training. LCG offers a huge range of CPD opportunities to their Purple People including apprenticeships, external qualifications, people management training, teaching excellence and more.

Brenda McLeish OBE said: “On International Women’s Day I believe it is important to celebrate the inspirational women that have not only driven incredible success within the business, but have also helped others to progress in their own career journeys. We are breaking the bias at Learning Curve Group by supporting many of our female Purple People progress into leadership roles, through high quality CPD and training.”

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