GOSPORT MP Caroline Dinenage gave the keynote speech at the first Women in Public Affairs network event.
She addressed more than 100 guests at the reception and spoke about her own experiences, both in Parliament and in the wider industry.
The organisation was launched by a group of women from across the public affairs industry who are keen to address the disproportionate numbers of women, compared to men, reaching the top posts in the sector.
Ms Dinenage discussed some of the obstacles she has encountered in her career.
Speaking at the event, she said: ‘Given the current economic situation, it is more important than ever to encourage everyone in the workplace to reach their full potential.
‘Studies have shown that companies with more women on their boards out-perform other companies with 42 per cent higher return on sales, a 66 per cent higher return on invested capital and a 53 per cent higher return on equity.
‘As an industry and as a country it is more important than ever that we look to encourage and empower women to reach the top of their professions.
‘I am delighted to have been able to be part of the WiPA Network’s inaugural event. It is really encouraging to meet so many of the up-and-coming women in public affairs who care so passionately about addressing the gender imbalance in the industry.’
The WiPA Network will be holding regular networking events and forums in the future.
The organisation says the events are intended to suit all women in the workplace and to provide a supportive and advisory platform.