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Championing Women at Board Level

Women are excellent at building talent, engaging employees, collaboration and customer focus - so why does the UK have such a low ratio of women in board positions. According to research by the REC the evidence is clear that women are willing and able to take on top jobs. However, it is also clear that there are continuing inefficiencies in the sourcing and recruitment of female talent for top jobs.

Balanced boards better represent their customers and stakeholders, make better decisions and deliver better financial results. Positive steps have already been taken by many FTSE 100 companies but chairs and chief executives need to increase momentum so that the goal of 25% female board representation by 2015 can be reached.

Women can be and often are just as ambitious as their male counterparts – those that choose to strive for top jobs need to have the confidence and self-worth to put themselves forward for promotion and make their views clear at meetings. There are many challenges faced by women in business but there are advantages too.

I started my company when there were very few women in business. I experienced great support and mentoring from the senior businessmen at the Chamber of Commerce in those early days. I suppose I was somewhat of a novelty at the time but I am encouraged to see many local Worcestershire women striking out in business on their own and taking senior positions.

Having a good support network is vital to a woman in business, particularly if she wants to have a family. Friends and family can make all the difference but if family isn’t available we may have to source support and pay for it to achieve our goals. Being determined and organised and having a large dollop of self-belief and vision is the key!

Let’s hope this surge in the number of women on boards is not superficial but a sustainable change to build upon in the years to come.


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