'Women and the New Business Leadership outlines how companies can break the cycle (of women not being appointed to boards because they have no board experience) and help women get board experience. Chief Executives of major corporates need not just to facilitate, but positively to encourage their women executives to go on to other boards. There needs to be a transition from accommodating it to encouraging it. And it's not a question of lowering the standard, but as a chairman you can't expect to have a woman with board experience. You have to take a risk. It's a voyage of discovery. You have to be ready to take the risk.' -- Sir David Walker, author of the Walker Review of Corporate Governance in the UK Banking Industry and Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley 'This is a very worthwhile Programme [FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme] that we at Tesco are involved in. It's a win for women in business achieving their ambitions, and a win for boards in benefiting from the female talent pool.' -- David Reid, Chairman, Tesco plc 'Higher standards of corporate governance are an essential part of global efforts towards future global economic sustainability. The Arab International Women's Forum (AIWF) is firmly committed to putting corporate governance squarely onto the Arab business agenda. Women and the New Business Leadership draws attention to the importance of good corporate governance and the contribution that women can make, through their participation -- as executive or non-executive directors -- on corporate boards, and in other senior roles within companies: not just in the UK but internationally.' -- Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Chairman, The Arab International Women's Forum 'The Davies Report has given real impetus to the task of increasing the number of talented women in executive and non-executive roles on UK corporate boards. Women and the New Business Leadership is innovative, inasmuch as it points up the linkage between the behavioural aspects of good corporate governance and the inclusion of diverse voices -- including those of women -- around the boardroom table. The expansion of the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme provides UK business with a tried and tested mechanism by which Chairmen and Chief Executives can increase the number of women candidates for UK Boards.' -- Sir John Parker, Chairman, National Grid plc and Anglo American plc 'I have always believed in mentoring and coaching, but the FTSE 100 Programme was different. It was relaxed, non-threatening, safe; challenging and revelatory. I'd been mentored many times before, but this was different. It gave me access to one of the most senior leaders in UK business, and without those discussions I would not have gained my first CEO role in Malaysia -- and without that, I would not have been appointed to my current role. The Programme was a commercial success for HSBC -- they maximized their investment in me; it was a commercial success for my businesses and a commercial success and source of development for me. It helped me see the world differently.' -- Irene Dorner, President and CEO, HSBC USA Inc. and HSBC Bank USA, N.A. 'It was a damned close-run thing -- that's how it felt. The financial system could have easily gone down. It almost did. What has that got to do with gender? Nothing, directly, but one of the positive consequences of the crisis is the knowledge that it could have been avoided by taking better decisions. People realised that governance is important, but there was an awful lot of tokenism and box-ticking before. It's not just a question of numbers and qualifications; it's a question of creating the right climate on the Board and creating the right culture. I believe that the culture which works is in fact a culture in which women can thrive and do very well, and Peninah Thomson and Tom Lloyd have some interesting ideas about how Chairmen can create that type of culture in the Board.' -- Marcus Agius, Group Chairman, Barclays Bank plc 'The book is excellent in the way it brings together good thinking on diversity and governance with real-life examples of experiences, and what needs to be done on a mega-scale by companies to break the cycle of women not being appointed to boards because they have no board experience.' - Dina Medland, Board Talk Blog
About the Author
PENINAH THOMSON is a partner of Praesta Partners LLP, the UK's leading executive coaching firm and sponsor of the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme. Formerly a director of The Change Partnership, before that she was a director in the London office of Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Thomson began her career in the UK Foreign Office, working for the Board of National Delegates of NATO in Paris. She has worked extensively with chief executives and boards in the public and the private sectors in the UK and overseas, on strategy, organizational change and culture, and leadership.
TOM LLOYD is a management writer and author. He is a former editor of Financial Weekly and Management Today, was founding editor of Gemini Consulting's quarterly management journal Transformation and wrote the 'Working Brief' column in The Sunday Telegraph for several years. He has written five books, including Managing Knowhow, with Karl-Erik Sveiby (Bloomsbury 1987) and The 'nice' company (Bloomsbury 1990). He was also the co-author of the successful A Woman's Place is in the Boardroom and A Woman's Place is in the Boardroom: The Roadmap with Peninah Thomson and Jacey Graham (Palgrave 2005, 2008).