Alexander Armstrong and Karren Brady speak at first East Yorkshire Business Day

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Jun 2017

How do you make a premier league footballer that earns £15,000 a week understand the position of a ticket office clerk on an annual salary of £15,000?

For Karren Brady, chief executive of West Ham United, the answer is simple: she makes the two swap places.

Speaking at Bridlington Spa for the inaugural 'Business Day', hosted by TV presenter and comedian Alexander Armstrong, Brady outlined the secrets of her success.

She said: "I have 18-year-olds working in the ticket office that earn £15,000 a year whereas I have an 18-year-old footballer earning £15,000 a week.

"They might both have the same level of education, the same background and come from similar families, and yet this gap between them is huge.

"In my business I want everybody to know everything about the business, and to know where the business is going, so I move them around.

"That is why one day a month my players work in the ticket office, so they can realise everyone is part of the same team, whereas the people in the ticket office understand that without the football players nobody would buy tickets."

As well as helping to transform the fortunes of football clubs including Birmingham City and West Ham, the successful businesswoman has been handed numerous accolades, including Business Woman of The Year, Ultimate Entrepreneur and is ranked in the top 50 most inspirational people worldwide.

Speaking about the need for diversity within the workplace – particularly the need to remove the barriers that prevent women from reaching director-level - she said: "If you employ too many like-minded people there is a likelihood you will all be patting each other on the back as you fall off the cliff."The most valuable person in your company is not someone like me or Oprah Winfrey; it is women already working in your company or the industry who for whatever reason have not reached where they need to be.

"I have all these titles bestowed on me but there are only two that mean anything, and that is 'working mother'.

"There are times when home is more important than work but there are also times when work is more important than home. It is all about balance."

Read more: Business Week examines the need to attract more jobs to Hull

More than 600 business people and entrepreneurs attended the event on Friday.

Organised by East Riding Council, in conjunction with partner and associate sponsors, the day provided a fitting climax to what has been one of the busiest Humber Business Weeks to date.

Other speakers at yesterday's event included renowned broadcast journalist John Simpson, and chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity.

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