With the aim to achieve gender equality in the business world there has been significant improvement on the UK business scene.
With more than 25% of the board members in all FTSE firms now being females, the push for gender equality is clearly gaining ground. However, just 7% of FTSE CEOs are female, showing there’s still a lot more to be done to break that glass ceiling. Here are five of the female CEOs making great strides in UK industry.
Alison Brittain, Whitbread
Brittain studied Business studies at the University of Stirling and got an MBA from Cambridge University’s Judge Institute. Her first job was as a cashier in Barclays after joining the company’s graduate trainee scheme. She stayed at Barclays for
two decades and rose to senior roles such as director of Barclays and Woolwich Retail Networks, and managing director of Barclays Small Business Banking.
Alison was appointed as the Whitbread chief executive in 2015, succeeding Andy Harrison. She was director of retail banking at Lloyds at the time.
Alison Cooper, Imperial Tobacco
Alison Cooper is head of the fourth largest tobacco company in the world. She studied mathematics and statistics at Bristol University after which she spent a year volunteering in Kenya. Beginning work at Imperial Tobacco in 1999 as a group finance manager, Alison rose to the position of CEO after over a decade at the company. She is known for her terrific memory, no nonsense attitude and down to earth personality.
Carolyn McCall, Easyjet
Carolyn McCall started her job as CEO at Easyjet in 2010 and the company’s profits have since quadrupled. She left her job at chief executive of the Guardian Media Group, where she started her climb up the corporate ladder as a research planner in 1986.
McCall studied history at the University of Kent and later got her Masters in politics after working as a teacher at a West London comprehensive for a year. She is known to be tough and innovative as that’s how she approached her job as Easyjet CEO.
Veronique Laury, Kingfisher
Veronique studied law and politics in France with hopes of becoming a politician. She later abandoned that dream and took a job at a French home improvements retail shop. In 2003, Laury joined Kingfisher as a product director and rose to the position of director of B&Q in 2010.
2013 saw Laury join the Kingfisher executive board, becoming CEO of the company in 2014.
Olivia Garfield, Severn Trent
Olivia is known for her determination and fast paced working method. The Cambridge graduate started her career at the British Consulate before joining Accenture as a consultant. She started working as general manager at BT in 2003 and later became CEO of their internet division, Openreach.
Olivia was appointed CEO of Severn Trent in April 2014, becoming the youngest ever female FTSE 100 CEO.
These are some of the top names worth emulating in the UK female CEO scene today.