Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Where are the women executive directors?

Rona Fairhead
In the ongoing debate about quotas for women on boards there has been increasing concern about the low numbers of women serving as executive directors on boards and the slow down this year in the rate at which women are being appointed to executive posts.  The concern is understandable.  Only 42 of the just over 300 women directors on FTSE 350 boards hold executive positions - 13 CEOs, 13 CFOs and 16 other executive directors.

However, there is a danger that in our concern with the numbers and a lack of recent executive appointments going to women, that we fail to celebrate those women who are already succeeding.  Many if not most readers will have heard of Anne Richards at Aberdeen Investment Management but how many have heard of for example,  Rona FairheadLaura Wade Gery,  Katie Bickerstaffe,  Susanne GivenTrish Corzine or Amanda Mesler?  I confess I generally hadn't or if I had, I knew little about them, and yet these are all executive directors currently running a major division of their FTSE 350 company or serving as COOs.

The women currently serving as executive directors are the critical role models for the next tranche of executive directors but they are largely invisible in the mainstream press, women's magazines, on TV and radio or even just on video.  We need to see these women in the media and to hear about their triumphs and their challenges and how they "did it".



Rona Fairhead, CEO Financial Times
Born: 1961
Education: Cambridge University, Harvard Business School
Career:  Consultant at Bain Consulting, Analyst at Morgan Stanley, consultant to Bombardier, Shorts, British Aerospace, ICI.  Finance Director Pearson Group. Non-exec Cabinet Office, HSBC Holdings.
Personal: Married with children

Laura Wade-GeryLaura Wade Gery  
E-commerce Director Marks and Spencer
Born: 1962
Education: Oxford University
Career: Investment banker at Kleinwort Benson, consultant at Gemini Consulting, CEO Tesco.com and Tesco Direct. Director at Royal Opera House.  Previously non-exec at Trinity Mirror.  Reportedly insisted on a board position at Marks & Spencer when poached from Tesco.
Personal: As a student travelled from Palestine to China in a journey written up by her companion William Darymple in "Xanadu"


Susanne Given
Susanne Given, COO SuperGroup
Born:  Denmark
Career: Worked as assistant to former German Chancellor Helmut Khol
Buying Director for Fashion John Lewis, Managing Director TK Maxx, General Merchandise Director at Harrods 
Personal: Came to UK as student and stayed 



Katie Bickerstaffe
Katie Bickerstaffe, CEO Dixon Retail
Born: 1968
Education: Nottingham University
Career: Unilever Management Training Scheme, PepsiCo, HR Director, Dysons, HR Director Somerfield, Head of Retail Operations Somerfield, Managing Director Kwiksave, non-exec Scottish & Southern Energy
Personal: Marathon runner

Trish CorzineTrish Corzine
Managing Director The Restaurant Group
Career: Haagen-Dazs, Atacama Restaurant Group, Brand Director Garfunkel's, Operations Director The Restaurant Group, Managing Director - Concessions The Restaurant Group





Amanda MeslerAmanda Mesler
CEO Logica Business Consulting
Born: USA
Career: General Electric, Managing Director Bearing Point, President EDS, Vice President SYSCO, CEO Logical USA, Chief Client Officer Logica.  Non-exec Ensygnia
Personal: Married with 3 children, big fan of F1




Maggi BellMagi BellBusiness Development Director Capita
Born: 1955
Career: Operations Director Manpower Joined Capita in 1999 and ran Capita's recruitment business and led Business Services & Corporate Services divisions.  Since 2005 led Group Sales & Marketing.


Tracy RobbinsTracy Robbins
HR Director International Hotel Group
Born: 1964
Education: BA Leeds University, MSc Revans University
Career: HR Manager Tesco, HR & Quality Director Forte Hotels, HR Director Compass Group. Joined IHG 2005, appointed to board 2011




Vyvienne Wade
Vyvienne Wade  
CEO Jardine Lloyd Thompson Latin America
Career: Barrister, Group Legal Director JLT, joined JLT board 2002, CEO JLT Latin America.  Non-exec director Lloyd & Partners.
Personal: Married

Jill Shedden
Jill Shedden, HR Director Centrica
Born:  1967
Education: BSc Management Science, MSc Management Development, CIM Qualified
Career: British Gas graduate trainee programme, HR Director British Gas, HR Director Centrica Energy, appointed to board 2011
Personal: Married with 2 children


Anne Richards 
Chief Investment Officer Aberdeen Asset Management
Anne Richards

Born:1964 
Education: University of Edinburgh - Electonics & Electrical Engineering, INSEAD MBA
Career: Research fellow at CERN.  Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director Edinburgh Fund Managers.  Chief Investment Officer Aberdeen Asset Management.  Non-exec director Scottish Chamber Orchestra



Ana Haurie
Ana Haurie
Group Managing Director Dexion Capital
Education: St Andrews University, Stanford University, Open University
Career: Cantor Fitzgerald, Sheppards Stockbrokers, management consultant on projects at Bank of England, CSFB, West LB and Barclays Capital. Joined Dexion Capital plc in September 2001 to head Dexion’s advisory business, focusing on research and analysis. Appointed Managing Director in 2006. 
Personal: Children


Carol Kilby
Carol Kilby Dexion Capital
Career: Joined Dexion Capital in 2007 responsible for the day-to-day running of the Guernsey operation and its business development. Carol has worked for 20 years in Guernsey’s finance industry including accounting, banking, risk & compliance and most recently, the corporate secretarial function. Carol is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants and has an IOD Diploma in Company Direction.

Lucy Neville RolfeLucy Neville Rolfe
Corporate Affairs Director Tesco
Born: 1953
Career: Civil Servant 1973 to 1997 at DEFRA, Cabinet Office and PM's Policy Unit.  Joined Tesco 1997.  Appointed to Tesco board 2006.  Non-exec Director ITV and the Carbon Trust.  Deputy Chair of the British Retail Consortium.  Member of the London Business School’s Governing Body, the China Britain Business Council, the UK India Business Council and the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.
Personal: Married with 4 sons


Diane Alfano Managing Director of Euromoney Institutional Investor’s Conference Division. 
Born: 1957
Education: BA Political Science & French Tufts University, La Sorbonne, Institut d’Etudes Politiques 
Career: Sales Executive Burroughs, joined Institutional Investor 1984.  Managing Director Membership and Sponsored Conference Business.
Personal: Enjoys sailing and ballet



Jane Wilkinson Euromoney CEO Euromoney Institutional Investor Publishing Division
Born:  1965
Education: Queen Mary College, University of London
Career: Marketing Director IPC.  Joined Institutional Investor in 2000 as Group Marketing Director.  Joined the board in 2007



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