Top business woman responds to Chelt Lit Festival controversy

An award-winning businesswoman has responded to a celebrity cook who suggested ‘women give up more easily than men in the workplace’.

Kerry Willcock, who runs Cheltenham business Tonic, said that perseverance is down to an individual’s personality and ‘gender should not be a factor.’

Kerry Willcock was a finalist for the Echo's Women In Business Award 2015
Kerry Willcock was a finalist for the Echo’s Women In Business Award 2015

This comes days after celebrity cook Annabel Karmel told a shocked audience at the Cheltenham Literary Festival ‘I think sometimes women when they fail, perhaps they give up. But men are a bit more aggressive about it and think ‘well that’s one failure and I’ll learn from it’’.

Karmel then went on to say “I think we are sometimes more sensitive than men. We need to pick what’s good for us.’

This lead to a huge outcry on social media, with people saying ‘successful women like Karmel shouldn’t be telling others they can’t’


However, others agree with the cook and say that her comments are ‘a breath of fresh air.’


Annabel Karmel is a well-known celebrity cook and has written many cookbooks, which specialise in healthy meals for babies and young children. Her books have sold over 4 million copies and she received an MBE for her ‘outstanding work in child nutrition.’


She is yet to respond to the backlash caused at the festival.


Listen below for Kerry Willcock’s full interview regarding the controversy. She also reveals her tips on being successful in the business world.


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