More than 75 women attended the annual Torfaen women in business event, which was held at the Parkway Hotel and Spa in Cwmbran.

The event attracted women from Torfaen and across south east Wales.

Attendees either established in their career or having started a new business represented a diverse range of sectors including finance, legal, retail, IT/digital and the food and drinks industry.

Organised by the Economy and Business Development team at Torfaen council and opened by Alison Ward, chief executive of Torfaen council, the event, now in its 6th year, featured networking, high tea plus shopping opportunities at trade stands.

Speakers included Rachel Jowitt, the new chief officer of Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection at Torfaen council along with entrepreneur Jenny Evans, founder of Jenny Kate Ltd and winner of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship award.

Rachel Jowitt said: “Gender equality is not a 'nice' but an essential thing to do and has been proven to be fundamental, globally, for achieving wider societal and sustainable development goals.

"The business case though is compelling and should inspire businesses locally, nationally and internationally to put this on the top of the agenda.

"Those businesses which are more equal than others (as none are yet perfect) have higher dividends, better safety records and lower risks – they out perform their competitors.

"Equality in the UK world of work would see a further £150bn put into the economy by 2025. Therefore for our next generation and to inspire young girls Women in Business is an essential platform where we celebrate success and inspire those to have the confidence to dream big and achieve whatever it is they want to achieve.”

This year the event supported Teenage Cancer Trust, with all delegate ticket and raffle proceeds donated to the charity. A total of £1,550 was raised.

Gaynor Wakeling, business development manager at Torfaen Economy & Business Development, said “This has been another highly successful evening and I’d like to thank everyone who has attended and supported our flagship annual event. Networking events like this are just one of a wide range of business support services that we offer and I would urge anyone doing business in the Gwent area to get in touch with us to discuss the support we can provide.”