Under Sarah’s leadership, inclusive diversity is now a fundamental part of Aviva’s strategy. In the UK, they have set a target of 40% senior management roles held by women by 2020, with similarly stretching targets in all other 15 markets. They are a founding signatory of the Women in Finance Charter. Last year, Sarah launched a programme for 45 women across the globe to develop Aviva’s future female talent – by helping them grow their influence, confidence and leadership. Sarah believes in 1000 small degrees of change, in 2016 she put in place a policy globally for parents to take half a day off to support their child’s first day at school. She champions and speaks at Aviva global Women’s Network events and encourages the business to get behind iconic moments such as International Women’s Day. She asked Aviva’s people globally to make their ‘#Beboldforchange’ pledge, including the Chairman, Board and CEO. Sarah sits on the 30% Club steering committee, and mentors and coaches several women internally and externally on their career paths. She speaks on many panels and contributes to the gender conversation in the media. She also champions Aviva’s sponsorship of the Women of the Future Awards and Asian Women Achievement Awards.
Tamara has been active in, and has ensured that RS is visible in, community, industry and global initiatives to champion women, including through involvement with organisations such as Women Corporate Directors, Boardwalk, Asian Women of Achievement, and the International Women’s Forum. She also started some herself, including Women in Structured Finance and Women in Corporate Trust. Tamara has worked for years with the Women’s Initiative Network (WINRS) at Reed Smith, is a founding member of the 30% Club, and has been instrumental in the development of the “Paradigm for Parity”, designed to accelerate the achievement of gender parity in business. Tamara is a member of C200, an invitation-only organisation of the world’s most successful women entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, and is the London School of Economics Court of Governors Sponsor for LSE Power (the female staff network). She also led a group of donors in support of the LSE’s acquisition of the Women’s Library and she currently chairs the Cancer Research UK initiative “Women of Influence”. She is a regular speaker at conferences and professional meetings focusing on closing the gender gap and frequently writes on women in business.
Rachel Lord, Senior Managing Director, is head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BlackRock and a member of the Global Executive Committee. Prior to assuming her current role in September 2017, she was EMEA Head of iShares and Head of Global Clients, ETF and Index Investments. During the time in her former role, Rachel was Global Inclusion & Diversity lead for iShares and achieved 100% diverse slates in recruitment at all levels since 2014. She also championed global minimum maternity policies. As a result, there is 50% gender diversity at analyst and associate levels in iShares. Rachel is a member of the Women’s Initiative Network advisory council, and has been Global Executive Sponsor since early 2017. She leads on International Women’s Day European client and internal events, is a powerful advocate and role model for women leading major businesses at BlackRock. Rachel regularly mentors women, both internally and externally, and is often asked to attend and speak at events for senior women in business. She is a speaker at industry-wide recruiting and educational events for women at university, and girls at school, and actively engages with other women’s networks at major financial firms in Europe to encourage cross-firm collaboration.
TSB was created to bring more competition to UK Banking and make banking better for UK consumers. Creating a different, inclusive culture has been key to success, with Helen driving TSB’s long-term commitment to gender diversity. Helen led TSB’s Gender Balance Matters campaign, pioneering a transparent approach to gender pay gap reporting, and calling on others to follow TSB’s lead and come clean on causes of their gender pay gap, and what they are doing to fix it. Helen regularly promotes gender diversity through media interviews and speaking events like CBI’s First Women, Management Today’s Inspiring Women, and an Equalities Office seminar for SMEs. She also led TSB’s sponsorship of the Women’s Equality Party’s first conference, participated in forums for HMT Gadhia and Hampton Alexander Reviews and was shortlisted for Woman of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards. Helen ensures TSB’s policies are gender neutral, championing activities supporting parental leave, flexible working and encouraging women to return to financial services. Throughout her career, she has mentored women and she introduced a programme for TSB’s executive committee to champion female partners. This is all on top of her ‘day job’ which includes co-leading TSB’s transformation programme, migrating to a new IT platform.
Harriet is an active IBM executive leader, mentor and sponsor of several women diversity groups. She has spoken at and hosted a variety of women in business events, internally and externally, discussing women’s leadership and how to drive transformation. She also regularly blogs internally on diversity and leadership communities, reaching 300,000+ IBMers. Harriet regularly speaks with women’s groups, university programmes and individuals worldwide to coach, mentor, and share her leadership views. She is a proud supporter and advocate of championing women through the Peaceworks Foundation, to help foster understanding, tolerance and co-existence in regions of conflict. In May, she was named one of the most Creative People in Business for 2017 by Fast Company and last year won the Women in Technology Institute award and was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame for her contributions to technology in business and her commitment to support and mentor women and girls worldwide. Harriet was recognized as the UK Business leader of the Year and Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year for 2014 and ranked 23rd in the Fortune Top Global Businesspeople list.
Karen started the Inclusion@MediaCom initiative, holding sessions covering ‘Authenticity’, ‘The Glass Wall’ and ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’. MediaCom also supports Women Returners to Work and launched Project Blend, which focuses on helping everyone reach their true potential, and ensuring the next generation of leaders are empathetic, intuitive, successful, and most importantly – happy. MediaCom also uses Shine for Women, a coaching course designed for women to give support, goals and focus to allow more women to reach the boardroom. This International Women’s Day Karen spoke in Dublin at the IAPI Doyenne Awards, she also mentors many women in and out of her role. She has also spoken at various events on the impact the female workforce can have on gender equality. Karen was also the first women to be interviewed for the new ‘Women in Business’ segment for BBC Breakfast News. Karen was appointed as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service and is President of NABS. She is a member for WACL and part of WPP Stella. Recently Karen became the Chancellor for Portsmouth University and was named one of 20 ‘Women to Watch’ throughout Europe by Ad Age, and was one of three women honoured by Hearst UK & Cosmopolitan Magazine.
At Brightstar Emer acts as an advocate for gender equality, and champions the subject through speaking engagements at various forums within the business. These include team briefings, segments on the quarterly global webcasts, as well as feature pieces in internal publications. She acts as a mentor to women across the business at different stages of their careers and set up the Brightstar Breakfast Club where talented women at all levels have the opportunity to connect, contribute and grow. Emer is a member of the UK Government’s Women’s Business Council (WBC), and represented the UK at the UN “Annual Commission on the Status of Women Globally” in New York. She was also appointed as the Co-Chair of the “Men as Change Agents” board which is a key project of the WBC, and was a keynote speaker at this year’s Mobile World Congress session on Women4Tech. Most recently, Emer was honored in New York by Women’s eNews, as one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” for her work on promoting gender equality – the only European female to feature on the list this year. Emer is also a Non-Executive Director of PaddyPower Betfair plc.
The biggest challenge for women in business is the lack of women in senior management roles. Carolyn has sought to create an environment in which women can build a career, by actively encouraging and supporting women as they progress. EasyJet make it easy for people to have flexible working including part-time working, working from home and job sharing. Women now make up over half of the executive team and a third of the senior management team, while one in seven of the world’s female airline captains already fly for easyJet. Carolyn has a regular programme of speaking and Q&A sessions with groups of women both in easyJet and outside, in particular young women who are starting their career. Recent events have included Speakers for Schools, and speaking to the women’s network of their engineering partner GE and LVMH. She has been involved with “Women in Advertising and Communication ” and chaired Opportunity Now from 2005 to 2009, continuing to be involved in the activities of both. Carolyn has been recognised a number of times for her gender diversity and management efforts, including a Damehood in 2016.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia is the government’s Women in Finance Champion. In 2015, HM Treasury invited Jayne-Anne to review and report on the representation of women in senior managerial roles in the Financial Services industry. The Review recommended that financial services companies should set targets for gender diversity in senior management and publish progress against those targets annually. The Review also recommended progress against the targets should be explicitly linked to variable pay for the Executive team. Jayne-Anne’s report led to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter – a commitment by firms to work together for gender equality in financial services. The Charter has been a huge success with over 140 signatory firms, covering over 560,000 people – equal to over half of the employees in the financial services sector. Whilst recognising there is more to be done, Jayne-Anne believes the Charter will make a real difference in improving culture, make firms more female-friendly, and offer the opportunity to have a successful and rewarding career.
Melanie is KPMG’s senior sponsor for inclusion and diversity, and lead of KPMG’s Senior Business Women Network. Under Melanie’s direction, KPMG took the ‘industry first’ step of publishing a detailed diversity profile of KPMG’s workforce, looking at all under-represented groups. Her ambition of holding her own organisation publically to account sent a strong signal both inside the firm and outside in the market as to how important this issue is. Melanie has been instrumental in establishing KPMG’s Inclusive Leadership Board and invited three leading diversity experts, Tanni Grey-Thompson, John Amaechi and Nicolas Miller, to join. She has championed KPMG’s ‘Return to Work’ programme, designed for women who have taken a career break of 18 months or more, and sponsors ‘GROW’ – KPMG’s 360-degree leadership development programme, designed to advance minority groups, including women, to senior positions in the organisation. She has personally supported, mentored and coached countless women at all organisational levels, both within and outside the firm. Melanie is one of the founding members of the 30% Club Steering Committee, and has facilitated a variety of research projects into women in the workplace. Melanie is joint Vice-Chair of The Eve Appeal and a member of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board.