The vital role women play in the Cumbrian business community was celebrated over breakfast hosted by one of Carlisle's best-known companies.
Dozens of women gathered at the Lloyd Volvo showrooms at Kingstown for the networking event to mark International Women's Day.
Speakers included city mayor Trish Vasey and Lynne Mallinson, managing director of Country Puddings near Penrith.
The day was organised by David Martin, business sales manager with Lloyd Volvo who said as a father of two daughters he was inspired to promote and celebrate the role of women in business.
Guests were treated to a Swedish breakfast of fresh fruit, rye bread, smoked salmon and cream cheese in recognition of Volvo's Swedish roots.
David said: "As a Swedish company Volvo is at the forefront of equality for women. The Volvo design team is nearly all women.
"With two daughters I am very interested in seeing women make progress and achieve further equality which is why we here at Lloyd Volvo is firmly behind the International Women's Day #PressforProgress campaign."
Lynne Mallinson set up Country Puddings which is based at Flusco, almost 18 years ago and spoke passionately about the challenges she has faced in business as a woman.
A farmer's wife who set up the award-winning business in her kitchen in 2000, Lynne explained that she encountered many hurdles over the years.
She told the audience: "My journey has had its fair share of challenges and rejections as well as successes but my message is that you learn from those challenges."
Lynne supplies 18 different products - including her highly-lauded sticky toffee puddings - to independent retailers, farmshops, delis, food halls and village stores as well as larger companies such as Cranstons, Booths and the online supermarket Ocado.
She exports overseas to Australia, Singapore and Dubai and is currently trying to crack the American market.
As only the 15th woman to wear the mayoral chains in Carlisle's history, Trish Vasey said she was keen to see more women succeed in all walks of life including business and politics.
She added: "It was so good to hear Lynn explain how she has developed her business with determination despite the obstacles.
"Seeing so many women here today of all ages is an inspiration in itself. To see so much young blood here is wonderful for the future."
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