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FT and HERoes announce Champions of Women in Business

FT and HERoes announce Champions of Women in Business

 September 20, 2018

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HERoes and Financial Times have published their list of Champions of Women in Business, which showcases Top 100 Female Executives, Top 50 Future Leaders and Top 50 Male Executives championing gender diversity in the workplace. 

"Our boardrooms are lacking in gender diversity, and the absence of female representation has an impact at all levels of an organisation. The presence of strong, female role models across all sectors and industries is essential to develop a pool of diverse rising talent", says HERoes and FT on why their Champions of Women in Business list is so important. 

The aim of the list is to celebrate not just those who have achieved significant success in their own careers, but also those elevating others during their rise through the ranks. Included in HERoes and FT's list are leaders from Vodafone, Diageo, EY and Amazon

Top Female Executives 2018

In this category, FT and HERoes celebrate senior female role models who are helping to increase gender diversity in the workplace. Nominees for this category are successful senior female executives working 1-3 levels from the chief executive.

Serpil Timuray, Vodafone Group, Group Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer

Serpil has championed a women’s inclusion programme across Vodafone markets, serving as the Chairwoman of Vodafone Group’s “Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee”. She is committed to helping to increase the proportion of women in management and leadership roles by helping build a pipeline of talent, specifically through initiatives such as “50/50 female/male graduate recruitment”, Vodafone’s pioneering “Global Maternity Policy” and “ReConnect”, the world’s largest recruitment programme for talented women on career breaks. Serpil also launched the ‘Connect’ initiative in 2017, a commitment at Vodafone to provide 50 million unconnected women in emerging markets with access to mobile technology, thereby narrowing the gender connectivity gap by 2025. This initiative is designed to provide specific products and services for women that enable financial inclusion, build skills and promote entrepreneurship, improve health and wellbeing. To date, the programme has reached more than 15 million women; 33% of the target. She also launched ‘Women First’ in Turkey, in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Affairs. She is a regular mentor to a number of senior women professionals at Vodafone, and served as a selected mentor for the ‘Women on Board Association” (WBAT Turkey).

Siobhan Moriarty, Diageo, General Counsel

Siobhan is one of two executive committee sponsors for Diageo’s Diversity and Inclusion goals, responsible for ensuring the business achieves its aim to have more than 35% of female senior leaders by 2020 and 40% by 2025. To achieve these goals she has worked with her co-executive sponsor and market teams to establish multi-year talent plans with built in gender diversity actions and milestones. She is also executive sponsor and an active member of the employee-led ‘Spirited Women’s’ network which aims to celebrate everyone’s individuality and exchange ideas. Externally, Siobhan has been a part of the Speakers for Schools organisation for 5 years. She gives talks to pupils who are at the point of identifying potential careers, and focuses on inflection points that drive career choices, women in the law and opportunities for women in business. She has also spoken at a number of law events on gender equality in the legal industry, including to the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel and, most recently, at the London Irish Lawyers Association. Siobhan also co-hosted Diageo Singapore and the Singaporean chapter of ‘Lean In’ at their “#PressForProgress” International Women’s Day event.

Maggie Stilwell, EY, Dispute Services Partner (previously Managing Partner for Talent until June 2018)

In her role as Managing Partner for Talent, Maggie has championed gender and other diversity at EY. She has given her sponsorship and personal presence not just to the EY Women’s Network, but to many diverse Network events. She has built a strong intersectional viewpoint – and an appreciation that women have different ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientation, faith and mental health issues. She led EY’s early disclosures under Gender Pay Gap legislation, effecting additional voluntary disclosures on ethnicity and partner remuneration. She has also been persistent in driving up the numbers of women to the profession and to EY, a top ten UK employer in size, both in terms of transforming the student recruitment process and championing the Women Returners Campaign. She is a mentor to many women. Maggie is a regular speaker at conferences and in the last year one of EY’s top 3 most quoted spokespeople. She also blogs and speaks openly about being a flexible working champion. In her client work within the Forensic & Integrity services team, she is a recognised accountancy and finance expert, being listed in the Who’s Who for her specialism.  Maggie was recently ranked in the Accountancy Age Top 5 Women in Finance.

Jacqui Chin, Amazon, Director, Baby & EU Programmes

Jacqui launched and leads Amazon’s UK Women@ employee affinity group, providing thousands of employees with resources and activities to develop skills, manage their career and expand their network.  She leads teams of Women@ employee volunteers to create and deliver initiatives that support gender diversity in recruitment, policy, community and learning and development. She advocated for and steered delivery of Amazon’s Flexible Working Guidelines, which are today in place across five EU countries.  Jacqui initiated and led growth of Amazon’s UK mentoring schemes, including Peer-to-Peer Groups and One-to-One Mentoring.  She steers other employee teams of Women@ volunteers working on a range of initiatives including paternity leave, return to work support and female recruitment candidate support.  Externally, Jacqui has mentored female residents of the Centrepoint charity, to help women in making the steps from living on the street to independent working and living in their own home.  As head of Women@, Jacqui speaks and encourages members to speak regularly at external events such as Women in Silicon Roundabout. She also provides support to Amazon’s Cambridge development centre Diversity affinity group, who amongst other initiatives have established a program for schoolchildren to visit, engage and be inspired about learning and working in STEM. 

Joanna Santinon, EY, Partner

Joanna has been partner sponsor for EY Women’s Network for eight years, doubling its membership in that time and extending its reach to all offices. The network runs a variety of learning and development events to help women be the best version of themselves, alongside events that showcase inspirational role models. The network has created a best in class International Women’s Day Celebration and awards programme where they presented 22 awards across the UK last year. She also takes part in mentoring and sponsorship of up and coming female talent both formally and informally. Under the banner of the Women’s Network Joanna runs a full external programme with events for different groups. They have a market leading group for women on boards of FTSE companies to discuss current business topics. Separately she has brought together a group of female entrepreneurs providing a forum for them to learn from each other. She has been a member of the 30% club steering committee for 7 years, and was instrumental in creating the cross company mentoring scheme and running the pilot at EY. She currently mentor two female entrepreneurs in the early stages of their start up journey.

Mairead Nayager, Diageo, Chief Human Resources Officer

Mairead has ensured Diageo has a holistic plan in place which will result in the business achieving a senior leadership team which is 40% female by 2025 and has committed to ensuring that 50% of hires to Diageo’s global graduate programme are women. She has worked to galvanise each Managing Director of Diageo’s 21 markets to establish a diversity and inclusion plan that meets these targets as well as locally relevant goals to ensure the business reflects local consumers. Through her ownership of succession planning to the most senior roles in the company, as well as partnering with the CEO and Presidents on hiring decisions, she has supported the promotion and acquisition of women into a significant number of critical roles. Externally, Mairead is a vocal advocate of Diversity and Inclusion in business – most recently writing an opinion piece for City AM on the subject. She has put her support behind key campaigns championing women in business, and diversity and inclusion more generally, including the 30% Club, Free the Bid and Open for Business.

Lauren Kisser, Amazon, Director, AWS S3

Lauren is Director for Amazon Web Services S3 based at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, U.K. She is the executive sponsor of the Diversity Working Group at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, which aims to create and foster a diverse workplace. Under Lauren’s leadership the Diversity Working Group focuses on: building the recruiting pipeline to get more women into key positions; fostering internal knowledge and skill building; and inspiring young women to get into the STEM field. She has been named 100 Women to Watch in 2018 and was awarded the 2017 everywoman in Retail Ambassador of the Year awards for her dedication to addressing the gender gap in retail and technology. Lauren has led outreach efforts to inspire girls to continue studying STEM subjects at school by inviting them to Amazon’s drone lab in Cambridge and regularly visited schools as a Prime Air STEM and AWS Cloud Computing Ambassador. She is also a STEM Ambassador for Connect Education and Business since October 2016, where she is a role model and mentor to women and mothers looking to return to work. She often speaks at events to inspire women to embark on a career in technology.

Female Future Leaders 2018

In this category, FT and HERoes present inspirational Female Future Leaders, Role Models who work at all levels of an organisation and are making a significant contribution to gender diversity wherever they are placed in the company.

Lauren Gemmell, Amazon, Manager, Software

Lauren plays a key role in the progression of women at Amazon. For the past four years, she’s led Amazon’s Women in Engineering Group at the Edinburgh Development Centre, an internal group which supports female engineers through mentoring, networking and identifying new career progression opportunities. Lauren is also mentor for Claire Doherty, one of the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary participants, providing her with advice on how to pursue her career in tech. She regularly organises and speaks at diversity events, and her most recent panel discussion was broadcast to hundreds of employees across the UK for International Women’s Day. Lauren is the lead sponsor for Amazon’s Early Insights Scheme, a community outreach programme in Scotland designed to encourage more young girls to study STEM subjects. Overseeing strategic direction and finances for the programme, the Scheme helped build confidence in the technical skills of the participants, and encourage a career in technology through workshops, talks, social events and a ‘hackathon’ for 12 female early years students. Lauren has also hosted workshops for Women Who Code Edinburgh, a global non-profit inspiring women to excel in technology careers, and Scotland Women in Technology.

Laura Tynan, EY, Manager EMEIA Restructuring

At EY, Laura’s focus has been largely on cultivating female leadership. She serves as a mentor for a number of women in the firm including Lena Forster, winner of EY’s inaugural Corporate Finance Woman of the Year 2018 award, supporting her in navigating through difficult decisions. Aside from these individual efforts, Laura is the co-lead of EY’s ‘Gender Debate’ initiative, an important part of the firm’s effort to elevate the discussion around women’s issues. In this role, she organised and chaired EY’s inaugural ‘Profitability of Parity’ event, where gender parity was discussed as a critical business issue that impacts the long-term success of the firm. Outside of EY, Laura coaches a number of women, helping them navigate through career challenges, and build their confidence in order to overcome setbacks.

Coleen Mensa, EY, Trainee Solicitor

Coleen created a video for EY’s global website to shine a light on amazing women in the workplace whilst encouraging other females to join EY. She is also the founder of a focus group which is dedicated to bringing females in law together who share the same desire to excel at work. Coleen mentors 12 young women, assisting them with getting with entry level law positions or trainee solicitors roles in FTSE 250 companies. Coleen is a regular speaker at diversity and inclusion events and often speaks on the importance of this in the workplace. Coleen hosts quarterly roundtable masterclass sessions for her mentees which mainly focuses on the tips she learned through her own journey. In addition, Coleen is the co-founder of Power Up – an initiative which helps women get into their chosen career paths. This is done through “power dinner” events where individuals can connect with others who are excelling in their field.

Top Male Executives 2018

In this category, FT and HERoes recognise male senior leaders, who work 1-3 levels from the CEO and are making a significant contribution to gender diversity and the promotion of women to senior business roles.

Vittorio Colao, Vodafone, CEO

Vittorio is driving Vodafone’s ambition to become the best employer of women in the world by 2025. He has championed a number of programmes across Vodafone, including placing targets on the number of women in senior roles, pioneering a new maternity policy and launching the world’s largest recruitment programme to bring women back to work who have taken career breaks last year. Externally, as a UN Women HeforShe Impact Champion, he is one of 10 CEOs actively supporting gender equality externally and working on bold commitments to support gender equality. He signed up to the #MentorHer programme led by LeanIn and sponsored Vodafone’s membership of the Womens Business Council and worked with the UK Government to shape its Returner programme.

Steve Varley, EY, UK Chairman

Earlier this year Steve made the decision, with the support of his leadership team, to go beyond the UK Gender Pay Gap Regulations and publish EY’s Partner pay gap. The decision was recognised by the Financial Times and set best practice across the industry. EY has a firm focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) and increasing the representation of women and ethnic minorities at all levels, with many initiatives in place. These include, setting public diversity targets, developing a returnship programme, and focusing on supporting high potential female talent through their careers. They have also delivered inclusive leadership training to over 2,000 business leaders in the UK to help drive cultural change in the organisation. Steve chairs EY’s UK D&I Steering Group that brings together EY’s four business units based in the UK, to ensure that they focus collectively on the D&I outcomes that matter. He also actively sponsors a number of women within the organisation to counsel and advise them on their careers. Externally, he has been an active supporter of the 30% Club since its inception.

Ivan Menezes, Diageo, Chief Executive

Under Ivan’s leadership, women currently make up 50% of the Board and 40% of the Executive Committee at Diageo. In the last year Diageo has been recognised by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, ranked fifth in the Thomson Reuters Global Diversity and Inclusion Index, named third in the Hampton-Alexander review and named joint first for FTSE 100 companies with female executive directors by Cranfield School of Management. Externally, Ivan became a signatory of the 30% Club, aiming to develop a diverse pool of talent and commit to better gender balance at all levels of his organisation. He is an active speaker on the importance of diversity in the workplace, recently appearing at the Confederation of British Industry Inclusive Workplace Conference. On International Women’s Day Ivan was ranked by Management Today as one of their top male Agents of Change pushing for parity in the workplace. Additionally, he is Chairman of Movement to Work, which offers opportunities to thousands of unemployed young people, allowing them to develop the skills and confidence they need to find a job.


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