Programme

  • Women and Leadership: Closing the Gender Gap

    13 and 14 September 2011

    This event has now passed. You can still download presentations from the Women and Leadership conference.

    Day 1

    Time Description

    9.45 - 10.30am

    Registration and coffee

    10.30 - 11am

    Welcome address: Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University, Liz Coffey, Managing Director, Spark Leadership Ltd. and Shami Chakrabarti, Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University.

    Video message from Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission.

    Plenary sessions chaired by Dr Simonetta Manfredi, Oxford Brookes University

    The Business case for increasing women’s representation on corporate boards has been made. This morning's sessions will focus on the recommendations of Lord Davies report, commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and the different approaches taken outside the UK designed to close the gender gap.

    11 - 11.40am

    Increasing the number of women on FTSE 100 Boards: Initiatives for Change - Professor Susan Vinnicombe, OBE and Jacey Graham.

    • Susan Vinnicombe, OBE
      Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Diversity Management, Director of the International Centre for Women Leaders at Cranfield School of Management. She was a member of the steering group that supported Lord Davies’ review.
    • Jacey Graham
      Director, Brook Graham Ltd. Co-author of ‘A Woman’s Place in the Boardroom: the Roadmap’. She has particular expertise in building female talent pipelines in large organisations and acts as an advisor to the UK FTSE 100 Cross Company Mentoring Programme.

    11.40 - 12noon

    Question and answer session

    12.00 - 12.30pm

    Gender quotas for corporate boards in Norway: innovative gender equality policy - Dr Mari Teigen

    Mari is the Research Director at the Institute of Social Research in Oslo. Norway was the first country to introduce a quota for women on company boards leading to an increase of 40 per cent of women representation. She is co-author of the report on Women on Board: Quotas Key to Success.

    12.30 - 1pm

    Question and answer session

    1 - 2pm

    Lunch

    2 - 3pm

    Interactive breakout sessions

    Delegates can choose one of the following sessions:

    1. The Role of the Headhunter in influencing gender diversity on Boards.
      Panellists in this session will discuss their experiences of placing women at company board level and as senior members of executive search firms. They will address some of the following questions:

      • To what extent the Davies report has begun to have an influence on recruitment patterns of women to company boards?
      • How can senior women from outside the corporate mainstream be brought into the recruitment process as recommended by the Davies report?
      • What advice can be given to women interested in becoming board members?

      Discussion chaired by Sally Rowley-Williams who leads Rowley Williams Limited, and the panel will include Deborah Loudon, consultant at Saxton Bampfylde and Fiona Vickers, Global Sector Leader for Heidrick and Struggles Media.

    2. 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 Sara Thornton, CBE, Chief Constable Thames Valley Police

    3. Realising women's potential - voluntary measures or quotas?
      Recent research from Cranfield School of Management shows that since the Lord Davies report the number of women appointed to the FTSE 100 boards has increased significantly. However, in spite of this encouraging progress women remain under-represented on company boards. Will listed companies achieve the voluntary target of 25%? Should the UK follow the example of other European countries and introduce quotas? Panellists will discuss how organisations can tackle the diversity gender challenge.

      Discussion chaired by Liz Coffey, Managing Director, Spark Leadership Ltd. The panel will include Suzanne Hughes - HR Director, Policy, Employee Relations and Engagement at Santander UK, Sara Hill, Founder and Managing Director, Capability Jane Ltd., a company that helps organisations to increase the number of women in senior roles, and Melanie Richards, Partner in Debt Advisory Services, KPMG.

    3 - 3.30pm

    Refreshment break

    3.30 - 4.45pm

    Question Time

    The day will conclude with a ‘Question Time’ panel with women holding senior positions across different sectors. The panel will be chaired by Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University. Delegates will have the opportunity to put their questions to a panel of women holding senior positions from across different sectors. Panelists include:

    • Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor Oxford Brookes University
    • Colonel Marian Lauder, currently based at the Defence Academy and responsible for delivering leadership and management education to the top slice of the MOD's senior officers and civil servants
    • Sara Thornton, CBE, Chief Constable Thames Valley Police
    • Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Piccadilly

    4.45pm - 5pm

    Concluding remarks for the day

    7.30pm

    Conference dinner

    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:

    • Sue Ashtiany, Employment and Discrimination Lawyer
    • Alexandra Marks, Partner, Linklaters LLP
    • Rt. Hon. Dame Janet Smith, DBE, Judge of the Court of Appeal

    1 - 1.50pm

    Lunch

    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

    4.30pm

    Conference close