Women on boards

Citywealth Women in Wealth quarterly Supper Club “Women on boards": Speaker Dr Suzanne Doyle Morris

The latest Citywealth Women in Wealth Supper Club had Dr Suzanne Doyle Morris author of Beyond the Boys’ Club and one of the world’s leading experts on gender equality with a PhD from Cambridge speaking about the implications of Women on boards.

Held in the Alberico Restaurant at Aspinalls private club, the women present were given directives to help them spearhead developments for themselves and fellow women.

Doyle Morris followed up the event as usual with a round up of the discussion including key points which were: “...increasing amounts of research demonstrates organisations with at least three women at Board level positions have improved corporate performance. We must be clear; the “tipping point” is three women or 30% representation. That number allows women to become more vocal and seen as individuals, rather than tokens and merely representative of their entire gender.

Research done by McKinsey in 2010 found that organisations with this “magic number” enjoyed 42% higher return on sales, 66% return on invested capital and 53% return on equity compared to organisations with no women on the board. While these facts are correlates and not causal, this evidence suggests diversity at board level helps leaders avoid “group-think”. Researchers credit the behaviours exhibited by women such as listening, probing, lateral thinking and facilitation in enhancing governance. Women are also more likely to stick to the organisational agendas rather than their personal agendas.”

Doyle Morris added “Currently, women make up 12.5% membership of FTSE 100 Corporate Boards and just 7.8% on FTSE 250 Boards. By comparison, the UK falls in the middle of most European countries; for example, less than Scandinavian countries but higher than Portugal and Italy. Female representation on boards is on the agenda for an increasing number of countries, including proposed EU legislation. Of nations that have tried to increase the number of women on boards, legislators have used a mix of the carrot and stick approach. They have ranged from offering rewards like priority on government contracts such as Spain, to punitive measurements such a risk of closure for public companies that do not comply, such as in Norway.”

“The push for more women on corporate boards comes from three major sources; the wider talent pool of women, the power of the female pound and the bottom line benefits female representation offers. Firstly in the UK, as across Europe and in the States, more women are graduating from university than men and this is set to only increase in coming years. Organisations are recognising that primarily promoting men to senior positions effectively halve the number of potential well-educated applicants on which they can draw. Secondly, women drive the lion’s share of consumer decisions. In the UK women make 70% of all consumer purchases and control 50% of all private wealth.

Savvy organisations, particularly those in consumer-facing industries such as retail, banking, utilities and media, are realising that they need greater diversity in their top leadership teams to reflect and respond to an increasingly female-centric market.”

The Women in Wealth Supper Club meets once a quarter and has circa forty members. The next event with topical speaker to be advised is on 28/6/11. The Women in Wealth Supper Club costs £950 + vat per year to attend four educational, networking events. Contact Joe Bell for further information on jbell@j-p-c.tv

Picture above of Karen Jones, Editor and Founder, Citywealth, hosting Rachel Elbaz fashion show in Knightsbridge.

Karen Jones, Editor, Citywealth is often called The Liz Hurley of the finance world. Her most interesting experience was doing the Bobsleigh in Calgary. 1,500 metres in ten seconds. She has also travelled from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica. She regularly provides commentary to The Evening Standard and Daily Mail on the habits of the wealthy particularly wealthy arabs and their luxury lifestyle spending habits.

Karen Jones, Editor, Citywealth is a confident, public speaker recently presenting at the Financial Services Forum on the future of Switzerland. Aswell as this she hosts fashion and charity events as MC for friends.

Jones Publishing, Citywealth is a woman owned business. Citywealth has twenty events a year, an app, two print publications and a fully archived website. Event clubs include Citywealth Women in Wealth Supper Club, Citywealth YP, Citywealth Tomorrow Club, Citywealth Shanghai Delhi Club. Awards are: Citywealth IFC awards, Citywealth Magic Circle AWards. Citywealth frequently does important interviews with wealthy clients and philanthropists.

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