An “inspirational” conference helping women back into work and to advance their careers attracted a record 175 delegates this week.

Work Avenue’s Women In The Workplace event, which was held on Tuesday at the employment charity’s business hub in Finchley, featured a series of workshops on making a career change, starting a business, smart social media, and being a woman in a man’s world.

Guest speaker Gillian Merron, CEO of the Board of Deputies and former Labour MP, shared her personal story of the successes and struggles involved in developing her career.

She said afterwards: “It was so uplifting to see people from all walks of life come together in one room, all of them committed to making progress in the world of work.”

Entrepreneur Emma Gee, who runs her own jewellery business, delivered a workshop on start-ups.

She said: “Many of the delegates I met were considering a new business venture. There was a fantastic atmosphere in the conference – I really enjoyed taking part and meeting so many interesting people.”

Gillian Merron speaking at the Women In The Workplace

Delegate Suzanne Jacobs added: “There were so many useful ideas. It was a fantastic day.”

Work Avenue was established in 2006 to help people find employment or run their own successful business.

CEO Debbie Sheldon said: “Our annual Women in the Workplace event is one of the highlights of the Work Avenue calendar, and this year we have had the highest attendance yet. We hope everyone has come away feeling inspired to develop their employment potential or grow their businesses.”