Haven House Children's Hospice has been praised by the Minister for Women and Equalities for raising awareness for gender equality in the corporate sector after 140 guests attended its inaugural Women in Business Lunch.

The event, sponsored by MFS Management and Mizuho, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in central London.

City leaders from a range of corporate sectors came together to share their inspirational success stories under the theme of International Women's Day, Be Bold For Change.  

Organisations represented on the panel included Bank of England, Canary Wharf and City, The Economist Educational Foundation and Mizuho.

Haven House Patron, Iain Duncan Smith MP, attended the event and gave an opening speech. Guests also heard about the challenges faced by families with life-limiting conditions from Haven House Director of Care Eileen White.

Mr Duncan Smith MP said: ''I was delighted to help launch Haven House Children's Hospice inaugural Women in Business Lunch. In society women continue to bear the brunt of caring responsibilities, and for parents with life-limited children, the support provided by hospices such as Haven House really is vital.''

Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening MP said: 'We can't just wait for equality to happen, we have to keep pushing for it - and we all have a role to play.

By launching its Women in Business lunch, Haven House Children's Hospice is helping to raise the issue of gender equality with the many families and supporters it works with. It has already set a fantastic example with strong female representation across the charity.''

Pushpinder Gill, Interim Director of Income Generation and Marketing at Haven House said: ''We are delighted to receive praise from the Minister for Women and Equalities for our inaugural Women in Business Lunch.''

''It was insightful to hear so many inspirational stories from our panel or senior executives and powerful to learn of the challenges which women still face in society.

''At Haven House we have a strong female representation at every level of our charity, but we know from our supporters and families who work in the City that this is not always the case across the corporate sector.

''Our Women in Business lunch was an opportunity to reaffirm the need for greater equality in corporate life and for guests to support life-limited children and their families in the local area.''