The University of Cumbria hosts two high-profile events this week.

Cumbrian businesswoman Emma Porter, construction managing director at award-winning infrastructure and civil engineering company Story Contracting, is the guest speaker at the inaugural meeting of the UoC Business Society.

The student-led society aims to help upcoming graduates connect with employers and business networks, shaping their learning experience whilst helping organisations to inspire, retain and develop future professionals.

During Thursday’s online event, Emma Porter will share her thoughts on building long term business relationships and give practical insights on how important this is to future success.

She said: “I’m looking forward to sharing some thoughts on the importance of building good relationships which comes from listening to and understanding your clients’ needs and always seeking to give more than you take.

“I always got a lot from external speakers when I was in business school and I think you learn a lot from hearing a wide variety of experiences and career paths. And, from my own perspective, talking to and with students gives me a great opportunity to hear some younger viewpoints, ideas and perspectives. In a fast-changing world this is invaluable.”

Also taking place on Thursday is ‘A Life Worth Living’.

The online panel discussion celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month involves a host of North West organisations including Pride in North Cumbria, Out in the Bay, Enterprise, Lancashire LGBT, Lancaster University, and the students’ unions of both Cumbria and Lancaster universities.

Promoting inclusivity, the event is free and open to everyone to attend, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, including allies.

Already a Stonewall Champion, the University of Cumbria has an active LGBTQ+ staff network with more than 40 members based across campuses in Cumbria, Lancaster and London. A similar student network is led by the University of Cumbria Students’ Union.

University of Cumbria Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health, Environment and Innovation) Professor Brian Webster-Henderson will chair Thursday’s event.

He said: “At the University of Cumbria, we are committed to celebrating diversity, challenging prejudice and not tolerating discrimination.

“We strongly believe in treating everyone with equal dignity and respect, encouraging our staff and students to learn from each other in a safe environment. Therefore, we’re pleased to be sharing our values and approach together with partners at this significant event that supports the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the North West and beyond.”

• To find out more about the UoC Business Society, email or Dr Erica Lewis, at the university’s Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership, at

• Register for ‘A Life Worth Living’, and read full event details, here at