THE first female president of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Paula Dillon, has outlined her hopes for the future.

Paula, a partner with law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, noted that while there are now many more women in leadership roles than there were 10 years ago, they should always be appointed based on merit.

She also said science, technology, engineering and maths suffer from a lack of visible female role models and urged business leaders to address the issue.

Paula said she had concerns over the drop in apprenticeship enrolment and added that she hopes to foster close links with schools and colleges in her role.

She joked at the event at the Royal Armouries in Leeds that, if nothing else, she expects to be judged as the best female president of the chamber so far.