I was Co-Director of COMTEC, which I originally founded in 1986, sold in 2002 and re-acquired with my daughter, Sophie Howe, in 2007. It is a leading company providing technical translation and multilingual documentation services to exporters in the manufacturing, creative, e-learning and computer software industries.
My other focus and interest has been the interface between business activity and public policy particularly in relation to language skills and women’s enterprise. From 2002 to 2004 I was first female President of the British Chambers of Commerce and Vice-President of Eurochambres, the association of European Chambers of Commerce, Chairman of the Confederation of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce and from 2004 to 2008 CEO of CILT, the National Centre for Languages. I was awarded a CBE for services to business in 2002. I hold Honorary Doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University and Aston University for services to industry and languages and honorary Fellowships from the Chartered Institute of Linguists and Institute of Translation and Interpreting. My involvement in women’s enterprise has been as Chair of the National Women's Enterprise Panel and President of the Eurochambres Women's Network. I was recently conferred a life-time achievement award by the Association of Translation Companies.