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carol Rosati

As well as sunshine and Spring flowers there are further signs of progress for women on boards as we celebrated this year’s International Women’s Day (8 March).  March has already been a month to remember with Germany legislating gender quotas and in the UK, Business Secretary Vince Cable hosted a dinner for the 160 successful women appointed to FTSE 100 boards since 2011.


Later this month (25 March), Cranfield University will reveal the latest figures for the UK and what more needs to be done to reach Lord Davies’ 25% target. The Financial Times shared a spoiler alert predicting that this won’t be met by 2015. We are hopeful that the momentum will continue and confident that the talent is out there.


Elsewhere, the journey hasn’t even started. In Japan women hold just 1.5% of board positions, and the commotion caused by Patricia Arquette at the Oscars reminds us that gender pay inequality persists in the developed world. The UK is finally seeking to address the issue and will require from next year large companies to publish gender pay differences


We still have a long way to go and so much more needs to be done to address the pipeline, but the tops are spinning in the right direction. Inspire has been working with some of the UK’s leading businesses to produce our Diversity Toolkit who admit that the job is never done but the rewards of diversity far outweigh any challenges.  


Carol Rosati
Global Head of Inspire

Latest Inspire news


Diversity Toolkit



To celebrate International Women’s Day 2015 we launched the Diversity Toolkit website to showcase forward-thinking businesses that are making a difference for diversity.


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a diverse workforce, but the toolkit’s featured podcasts with companies such as PwC, AMV BBDO, BNY Mellon, Atkins Global and Eversheds provide businesses of all sizes with ideas and guidance to create a diversity strategy that best fits.


“Spend time learning from others on a similar journey; you will be amazed how helpful it is to have someone you can share ideas with. It’s just as important to learn what doesn’t work as what does.”

- Ian Powell, Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC on ‘Levelling the playing field


These businesses share the simple acts they took to make a big impact – do you have any of your own? We’d love to hear from you, share your tips and secrets with us on Twitter @inspirehn using #DiversityToolkit.


If you are interested in being involved in the second series, please contact Amanda Ciske.


Calling all women in engineering



We know that within sectors such as engineering and manufacturing there is a shortage of women in leadership and throughout the pipeline. Stereotypes of ‘jobs for boys’ and ‘jobs for girls’ start in early education, discouraging girls from taking up STEM subjects.


Although diverse teams perform better, are more creative and better reflect their customer base too few businesses demand diversity on the shortlist.


If you are an engineer or you work in the engineering sector and want to be a part of this change, please get in touch with Amanda:


New dates for Women's Directorship Programme (WDP)


Harvey Nash and The University of Hong Kong Business School announced the 2015 instalment of their board preparedness programme, to increase gender balance on boards. Guest speakers this year include:


  • Anne Minto, INED of Shire and Tate & Lyle
  • Donald Brydon, Chairman of Sage Group and Royal Mail
  • Dr. Raymond Ch'ien, Chairman of Hang Seng Bank and MTR
  • Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO of Schneider Electric
  • Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard

The 2015 programme includes six modules, taught over two three-day sessions (May 28-30 and September 10-12, 2015).


Please visit for more information.

New Appointments

Congratulations to the recent board appoints of:

Ruth Cairnie appointed as Industry Chair of POWERful Women.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC has appointed Anne Busquet as an independent Non-Executive Director of IHG.

Lucinda Riches appointed as Non-Executive Director on the board of CRH plc.

Joanna Shields steps down as CEO of Tech City UK to take a Non-Executive Director role on the board of the London Stock Exchange.

Allyson Stewart-Allen appointed as Non-Executive Director, Global Customised at Common Purpose.

Elisabeth Stheeman appointed as a Non-Executive Director to the Company Board of Redefine International, the FTSE 250 UK Real Estate Investment Trust (“UK-REIT”).

Fabiola Arredondo will join Burberry immediately as Non-Executive Director and a member of the audit, remuneration and nomination committees.

If you have any news or, have accepted an NED / CEO role and would like to be included in the next issue please contact Amanda: / 0207 333 1505.

New opportunities


Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust


Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is looking for two Non-Executive Directors to join their team to work in partnership with the executives to set the strategic direction and ensure the strong governance of the Trust. For more information please visit the website or contact Thomas Patterson on 0207 333 1516 or Sarah Wright on 0207 333 1867 with your interest.


The Leadership Foundation


The Leadership Foundation is seeking a new Chair who will succeed the incumbent in the Autumn of this year. The Leadership Foundation is a unique organisation that provides leadership development to the Higher Education sector – it is a membership body for UK universities. Please contact Serena O’Reilly Serena.O'  if you are interested to learn more.


Harvey Nash jobsite


Please visit the Harvey Nash executive search jobsite to see what other exciting opportunities we have listed.

Upcoming events


Inspire APAC seminar series welcomes Anne Minto
Hong Kong – 20th March 2015


Anne Minto, FTSE 100 INED at Shire and Tate and Lyle and speaker on the Women’s Directorship Programme for the past three programmes, will be our guest speaker for this seminar. We will be hosting an intimate lunchtime event with Anne at the Kee Club. For more information please contact: / +852 3199 6942.

Recent events


11 March 2015 – London, UK - Celebrating women on boards of FTSE 100 and looking beyond 2015



We were invited to join a dinner with Business Secretary Vince Cable and Lloyds Banking Group at Lancaster House to celebrate the UK's progress towards gender parity on the boards of the FTSE 100 companies.


Cable spoke about the success of the voluntary business-led approach, yet recognised the UK's untapped talent and the need to keep the commitment going.

Global diversity news


The women who are in line to chair Britain’s biggest companies
The statistic to watch — as the Davies Review prepares to release its latest data on the number of women on the boards of Britain’s biggest listed companies — may well be the number of female chairmen. It can hardly fail to increase: just three FTSE 100 companies are currently chaired by women.


No women on 90% of Japan boards belies Abe equality push
Two years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power with a plan to empower women, Japanese boardrooms are still the biggest boys’ clubs in the developed world.


Gender quota warning for top corporations
If Australian boards continue to underperform on the issue of gender diversity, the market will have no choice but to resort to Government to introduce quotas to force change, an inaugural International Women’s Day event presented by Associations Forum and Governance Institute of Australia has been told.


Women in Thailand show highest progress in business leadership
Women in Thailand demonstrated the greatest progress in business leadership among 16 countries in the Asia Pacific, according to MasterCard's latest Index of Women's Advancement.


Women executives stuck in the minority in top 2000 Australian companies
Senior positions in Australia's top companies have grown by 20 per cent in the past five years. But less than one-fifth of those roles belong to women.


German parliament approves legal quotas for women on company boards
Germany's lower house of parliament passed legislation requiring major companies to allot 30 percent of seats on non-executive boards to women, as a new survey found females remain grossly under-represented in business life.

The 6 most powerful business women in America
The number of female CEOs leading American companies has grown over the past decade. And even though progress seems slow, it’s faster in the United States than any other region in the world.


Building Inclusive Diversity: More Than Numbers
The White House blog

10 minutes of inspiration with...

...Catherine Hearne, CEO of Helix Arts



Catherine is CEO of Helix Arts, a charity working with artists, in partnership with public and voluntary sector organisations, to create opportunities for people from the most disadvantaged communities in Newcastle to participate in high quality arts activity.


Previously, Catherine enjoyed over 20 years working for the BBC as an Executive Editor, Director and Producer running multi-media output. Before entering broadcasting, Catherine trained and worked as a teacher in the North East of England for over 10 years. She holds an MA in Media and Creative Enterprise from the Warwick University.


Read the full interview here

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