Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Renaisi’s event on ‘Mental Health and Work: what’s gender got to do with it?’. The morning saw the launch of Tessa Horvath’s recent research, two panels of speakers and a hearty breakout session for discussions. Something which particularly resonated with me was hearing from Alice Williams, founder of Luminary Bakery. What better way to celebrate International Women's Day today than by highlighting this fantastic organisation, who bring together two of my own passions – women’s empowerment and baking.

Alice described the fantastic work Luminary Bakery does in providing women with the skills and confidence they need for work, as well as support and employment in the bakery itself. Many of the women coming to the Luminary Bakery face challenges such as anxiety, depression and trauma. Whilst employment is not a treatment for any of these, through offering a supportive working environment, and a strong sense of purpose they are able to help empower these women and progress into further employment. Feeling inspired by Alice’s talk, it was great to then hear discussions in the breakout session about ways in which we could influence employer cultures to create a more open and supportive environment for staff.

Overall, I feel inspired by Luminary's Bakery's ability to create a supportive working environment, empower the women they work with, and also produce some of the best baked goods around! Their cookies and brownies were a huge hit at the event (and back at the office!) as you can see from their fame on Twitter.  I know I will certainly be paying a visit to one of their stockists very soon. Happy International Women’s Day everyone!