Women and Leadership: Closing the Gender Gap

13 and 14 September 2011

Day 2

Time Description

Plenary sessions chaired by Professor Beverley Clack, Oxford Brookes University

During this morning's sessions, academics and practitioners will be considering women’s career paths across a range of sectors and the challenges and opportunities they experience as they progress through their careers.

9.30 - 9.50am

Gender and leadership problems and possibilities - Professor Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe

Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe is a Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Bradford. She has been involved in one of the largest studies of leadership including more than 4,500 managers in public sector and FTSE 100 companies.

9.50 - 10.10am

Glass ceilings and sticky floors: women in the workplace - Sarah Veale, CBE

Sarah Veale is Head of Equality and Employment Rights Department TUC. Her department covers employment rights, all equality strands including women’s rights and equal pay.

10.10 - 10.30am

Strategic influencing - Liz Coffey

Liz Coffey is Managing Director, Spark Leadership Ltd., Organisation Development and Leadership Development, working with global blue chip company leaders.

10.30 - 11am

Question and answer session

11 - 11.30am

Refreshment break

11.30am - 1pm

Women and the Law panel discussion
Women are entering the legal profession in greater numbers than men, yet few rise to the top. Over 60% of law students are female, but only 44% of solicitors holding practising certificates are female. The figures for women at the Bar are lower (34%), and for QCs lower still (11%). The Supreme Court has only one female judge and 3 female Lord Justices of Appeal. The panellists will draw on their experience to discuss the reasons for the underrepresentation of women in senior positions in the law, including issues of infrastructure and organisational culture.

This session will be chaired by Professor Lucy Vickers, Oxford Brookes University, and include the following speakers:

1 - 1.50pm


1.50 - 2.50pm

Interactive breakout sessions

Delegates will have a choice of attending one of the following sessions:

  1. Women in Leadership in the voluntary sector 
    Panellists will discuss their experiences of leaderships within the voluntary and NGO sectors. Women have generally been better represented in leadership in these sectors: what lessons might we learn from their experience? And what more can be done within the NGO and voluntary sector to develop further women's leadership.

    Discussion chaired by Michelle Montgomery Oxford Brookes University, with Leslie Morphy, OBE, Chief Executive of Crisis. This panel will include Audrey Bronstein, MBE, Deputy International Programme Director at Oxfam GB.

  2. Women and the Media: policy and practice 
    Many women are employed in the media industry in a wide range of jobs and roles. The creative and dynamic environment of this industry compounded with its technological developments provide interesting career opportunities for women. However, challenging international assignments and unsociable working hours can act as barriers for women working in this industry. Panellists will draw on their experience of working in the media to discuss challenges and opportunities for women's careers.

    Discussion chaired by Maggie Carver, Chair of ITN. Panel members include Juliet Morris, BBC Broadcaster, and Jackie Ashley, Guardian columnist and political interviewer.

  3. Work-life balance: still an issue?
    Research on the impact of work-life balance initiatives on employees' experiences has consistently identified a prevailing gap between policy and practice in most organisations. Is there evidence of positive culture change a decade after the government introduced a work life balance campaign in 2000? How can this help women achieve senior roles?

    Discussion chaired by Joanna Foster, CBE, Chair of the Craft Council, formerly Head of the Equal Opportunity Commission and of the National Work-Life Forum. The panel will include Pam Walton, researcher and consultant on work-life balance, and Judy Greevy, Director of Corporate HR and Sustainability at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

2.50 - 3.15pm

Refreshment break

3.15 - 4.15pm

Women in politics

Chaired by Anna Bird, Chief Executive, Fawcett Society. Panel members include the Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, and Dinti Batstone, Vice-Chair, Campaign for Gender Balance, Liberal Democrats.

4.15 - 4.30pm

Final thoughts about the future


Conference close


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