The Women’s Business Council and Management Today have today revealed the top businessmen challenging the status quo and promoting gender equality in workplaces across the UK.
The Agents of Change power list, now in its second year, celebrates the male leaders who are supporting women in business, driving gender equality initiatives, and shattering glass ceilings. Over 200 men were nominated from a range of sectors, including technology, the financial services, and healthcare.
Nominations were judged by Management Today’s head of content Kate Bassett alongside Hilary Spencer, director of the Government Equalities Office; Richard Robinson of Econsultancy; and Denis Woulfe, member of the Women’s Business Council and former vice chair of Deloitte.
This announcement comes just before the April deadline for large employers across all sectors to publish the differences between what they pay their male and female staff in average salaries and bonuses. This new gender pay gap mandatory reporting requirement is part of wider work the government is doing to support women in the workplace.
This includes £5m to increase returner programmes, offering 30 hours of free childcare, and introducing shared parental leave and new rights to request flexible working. There is also extensive cross-government work to get more women into the top jobs at the UK’s biggest companies and to get more girls taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school.
Kate Bassett, head of content at Management Today, said:
“We can’t achieve equality without involving men. That’s why Management Today has teamed up with the Women’s Business Council for a second year to publish the Agents of Change power list. We want to shine the spotlight on the army of male leaders who are doing fantastic things to champion women in the workplace. And we want to encourage more men to #PressForProgress.”
Denis Woulfe, member of the Women’s Business Council and Agents of Change judge, said:
“Business leaders have a key role to play in delivering the cultural change required to achieve true diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This power list is a fantastic way to acknowledge some of those men who are already doing great things and I hope it inspires even more men to get involved and help us to eliminate the gender pay gap. It is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do.”
This year’s Agents of Change winners include Matt Elliott, who joined Virgin Money as people director in 2011. He advocates ‘bringing the outside in’ and has set an ambitious target of a 50/50 gender split at all levels by 2020. Schemes include equalising maternity pay for parental leave (40% of fathers now take extended leave); matching flexible working practices of prospective senior candidates; launching a free ‘Women in Finance’ app to promote best practice; and running maternity mentoring. Virgin Money voluntarily reported its gender pay gap in 2016 and was the first FTSE 350 firm to report under the new rules.
From the engineering sector, the list once again recognises Mott MacDonald’s group MD Mike Haigh who introduced unconscious bias training for Mott MacDonald leaders – and has now included it in the standard induction for all new joiners. Haigh used his position as last year’s chair of the Association for Consulting and Engineering to promote gender diversity across the entire industry.
The full list includes:
|Toby||Allen||Creative Partner (joint nomination)||AMV BBDO|
|Jim||Hilson||Creative Partner (joint nomination)||AMV BBDO|
|Yann||Borgstedt||President and Founder||The Womanity Foundation|
|James||Cowles||Chief Executive Officer for EMEA||Citi|
|John||Cridland||Chair||Transport for North|
|David||Cruickshank||Global chairman DTTL||Deloitte|
|Matt||Elliott||People Director||Virgin Money|
|Paul||Geddes||CEO||Direct Line Group|
|Mike||Haigh||Group managing director||Mott MacDonald|
|Sir Philip||Hampton||Non executive chairman||GSK|
|Andrew||Lawson||Executive Vice President EMEA||Salesforce|
|David||Morgan||Director of Flight Operations||easyJet|
|Paul||Pester||CEO||TSB Banking Group|
|Russ||Shaw||Founder||Tech London Advocates|
|Chris||Stylianou||Chief Operating Officer||Sky|
|James||Taylor||CEO UK & Ireland||Sodexo Healthcare|
Notes to editors:
Media contact: Kate Bassett, head of content, Management Today: email@example.com
Women’s Business Council: The Women’s Business Council was set up in 2012 to advise Government on how women’s contribution to growth can be optimised. The aim has been to focus on areas with the greatest potential economic benefit and on recommendations with a clear economic case for action.
Management Today: With content ranging from entrepreneur profiles and interviews with top bosses, to career tips and opinion pieces from the world’s best-selling business authors, Management Today is the entertaining and educational digital resource for the modern manager: www.managementtoday.co.uk