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Major bank names Scarborough company in UK’s top 200 ‘female powered businesses’

Scarborough company Castle Employment – founded in the year England won the World Cup and now with its fourth female MD – has been named by investment bank J P Morgan as one of the UK’s top 100 ‘female powered businesses.’

The survey, carried out by J P Morgan and information provider Beauhurst, aimed to highlight the key role women entrepreneurs will play in helping the UK economy to ‘build back stronger’ after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Castle MD Kerry Hope said, “This is a fantastic accolade for Castle and recognises not only the strength of the business, but the immense amount of work everyone in the team did during the pandemic – and continues to do as the economy recovers.”

J P Morgan’s top 200 ‘female powered businesses’ was headed by Starling Bank, and included other household names such as Pension Bee and pre-paid debit card provider gohenry. Less than 1% of the companies in the UK hit one of the performance criteria J P Morgan required for inclusion in the survey.

“We’ve been gradually moving towards flexible working and working from home for some years now,” said Kerry. “Even so, nothing could prepare a business for the sudden impact of the pandemic. The key challenges for us were not just helping our own staff through problems none of us could have imagined, but helping our clients as well, as many of them turned to us for advice on HR issues, furlough and flexible working.”

Kerry is Castle’s fourth female MD, following Hannah Levy, who founded the business, Anne Pike and then well-known local businesswoman Suzanne Burnett, who was MD for 20 years before Kerry Hope took over in 2017.

As you would expect, J P Morgan’s Top 200 is heavily dominated by companies in London and the South East. Castle is one of only five companies from Yorkshire and the Humber to be included in the list.

“We feel this is a real victory for Scarborough,” said Suzanne. “To be 100th it shows you don’t need to be in London – or in a city – to succeed in business. It’s also recognition of the hard work of the Castle team throughout lockdown, when many of them were juggling work, a family, a home and elderly relatives they couldn’t – or didn’t dare – visit.”