Western Mail, 20th August 2007
A new club for South Wales businesswomen is celebrating rapid growth after being established just a few months ago .

From a standing start last December, the club now attracts more than 60 members to its monthly meetings and is poised to increase numbers further as its momentum grows.

Alison Hazledine , a tax specialist, and Rebecca Garrett , a banker , were also joined as co-organiser in the early days of the club by Melanie Hamer, Partner at Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, who read about Rebecca’s ambitions in The Western Mail Business magazine earlier this year.

Rebecca said, “I moved to HSBC Cardiff Commercial Centre at the beginning of October last year from Devon and wanted to make some contacts in the area.

“I had been part of a ladies networking lunch in Exeter so decided to start up my own here in Cardiff.

“I was introduced to Alison Hazledine of Kilsby & Williams Chartered Accountants who had been arranging ladies tables at various functions so we joined together to organise the first South Wales Ladies Lunch in December 2006.

“We started with 26 ladies attending our first lunch and have increased our following month on month with 50 ladies attending our May lunch organised my Melanie Hamer.”

Alison said, “The lunches are informal and relaxed and give female professionals the opportunity to build a network with like-minded women. Interest continues to grow, and we are always pleased to see new faces,”

Melanie added, “About 15 years ago when I was with Eversheds I was on the committee for a women’s business group in South Wales called Women in Enterprise.

“It was a popular club and everyone who took part made lots of good business contacts and in the process met lots of nice people and had some fun also.

“But clubs often run their course and Women in Enterprise stopped operating a while ago and there was clearly an opportunity for an alternative,” said Melanie.