I love the sleepy period between Christmas and New Year to reflect, re-set and review.
And watch old movies which always teach me something.
2015 was a year in which I realised the strength of synchronicity, crossing paths and saying yes to new events and opportunities. My belief in happy ever after was tested but my hope for the future in witnessing so many men connecting with their emotions and so many women collaborating, sharing and supporting each other was heart-warming.
This is my professional overview of 2015.
I meet Scilla Elworthy and hear her speak as part of a Tomorrow’s Global Leaders Event: ‘Inclusive leadership – Awakening the feminine in women as well as men’. I see first hand how embracing my natural feminine traits is vital to helping me evolve as an authentic leader.
February 2016 I am participating in a new immersive training Leading With Grace and Resilience led by Karen Downes and Dr Elworthy. Watch this space for updates.
The theme for International Women’s Day was Make it Happen, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.
In 2016, they rightly believe it’s time for the world to accelerate gender parity. The theme Pledge for Parity is taking centre stage.
Vodafone pioneers a global maternity policy across 30 countries becoming one of the first organisations in the world to define a mandatory minimum maternity benefits standard.
Barclays announce their internal campaign for HeforShe, building on their pervious external support. More details are shared when I speak with Mark McLane, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion as part of Bumps and the Boardroom.
Bumps and the Boardroom Live 2015! A week of daily virtual live conversations encouraged and inspired corporate Britain to recognise that mothers make great leaders. I am delighted to connect with a growing number of Bumps and the Boardroom Media Sponsors and Speakers.
The Government commissioned a programme of research to investigate the prevalence and nature of pregnancy discrimination at work. The results released in their first findings showed that Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage is widespread. Based on interviews with over 3,000 employers and mothers it predicted up to 100,00 women per year could be adversely affected.
The seeds begin to be sown for our 2016 campaign The Chance to Change 100,000 Lives.
Escape the City announce to the corporate world that 250,000 of their workforce are escaping to do work they love. They publish a 19-page report which details how culture is king and it’s no longer just about the pay cheque. The Top 10 companies people want to escape and where they are going makes sober reading for the big banks. Once again, more feminine driven values are coming to the fore. How we feel matters.
Laura Wade-Gery, tipped as the next CEO of Marks and Spencer had her maternity leave announced on the London Stock Exchange. She advised that she was expecting her first child and would be taking four months off. In December the retailer said she will now return to the firm on 1 September 2016, taking her full one-year entitlement to maternity leave.
McKinsey and Company’s How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. Their executive briefing in November, A CEO’s guide to gender equality The case for gender equality is strong. Why is progress so slow? was also a great read.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced she was expecting twins who arrived December 10. She received widespread dismay at her announcement to take minimal maternity leave and not the full 16 weeks she brought in.
I attend the book launch at Unilever of Work/Life Symbiosis: The Model for Happiness and Balance by Claire Fox.
The Lord Davies Review into Women on Boards celebrated reaching the 25% target set but warned of the necessity to keep our foot on the pedal and the pipeline pumped up, less we see decline and lose the momentum. A new target of 33% by 2020 was introduced.
TimeWise announce the Winners of the 2015 Power Part Time List. Over one fifth are men – a fitting development in a year that saw the number of male part time workers pass the million mark in the UK. Part time working in senior roles is here to stay.
Token Man appeared on my radar. Encouraging men to join the discussion around gender equality, broadening their understanding of the issues facing women, particularly in the creative industry and fuelling a cultural shift in the workplace.
I attended the Agile Working Business Breakfast with Eton Bridge Partners. Chaired by the co-author of Future Work, panelists from the BBC, Telefonica O2 UK, Save the Children International and “City Dad” discussed four key observations around successful agile working.
The tech giant CEO Marc Benioff announced he was spending £3 million to remove the pay gap between Salesforce’s men and women employees.
Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities blogs on Huff Post about the Gender Pay Gap.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he was taking 2 months full paternity leave and continues to pepper his Facebook page with pictures of his hands-on daddy duties and love of becoming a father to a little girl.
I meet Lord Davies at a newly re-branded Cityparents event. A huge highlight of my year. He was warm, humorous, (a little hungover thanks to a charity night with Jamie Cullum) hugely personable and gave great advice to the women and occasional man in the audience to step up and make their own difference.
Women in Saudi Arabia voted for the first time. A small cause for celebration in this country.
Happy New Year and here’s to a wonderful 2016 with some very exciting developments to share.