I’m all for looking at the positives in life. Not that I advocate becoming a Stepford Wife and mindlessly accepting everything life throws at us, far from it. However, I do think we should take time to celebrate that which pleases us, or when good things happen.
One such ‘good thing’ was the recent award to Katherine Garrett-Cox who won the Verve Clicquot Business Woman Award, 2015.
The award came at the end of a challenging period for Garrett-Cox. She and her fellow directors at Alliance Trust were forced to compromise with a US hedge fund that had criticised her performance and pay after its demands for board representation were initially dismissed.
She said: “We had a lot of media attention. Having said that, there is no doubt more people know about Alliance Trust and what we stand for. Standing up for what you believe in is important as a corporate and as an individual.”
Hear hear, and Katherine lost no time in using her platform from winning the award to make a case to the UK’s new Government to do more for women at work, specifically by tackling high child care costs.
Katherine urged the new government to build on the effort started under Labour and continued by Vince Cable to get more women into senior positions.
The most recent report by Lord Mervyn Davies showed Britain’s top 100 companies were only 17 appointments short of hitting his target for 25% female board representation by the end of this year.
“It’s pretty early days but I would say continue the good work. Aggressive targets were set and on the face of it we won’t be a million miles away from getting the representation we wanted by 2015. Don’t stop there. It’s about making sure organisations are doing it at executive team level as well as at boardroom level.
“Governments can do more. The reality at the moment is that for a lot of women it doesn’t make financial sense for them to come back to work because childcare is incredibly expensive.”
She practices what she preaches: one of the first things she did when she took over at Alliance Trust in 2008 was to revamp its maternity leave policy to make it more attractive for women to come back after pregnancy. Huge kudos to her.
I would add that bringing in courses like my RenewYou will also help women returning to work. Lack of confidence is frequently identified as a major factor in keeping women from senior posts and never more so following a break from work. RenewYou has been designed specifically to tackle this tricky area. You can find out more about how RenewYou means better business by clicking here.
Posted on May 14th, 2015 by Jane