Women in the news again!

CityEye-sqThe women in the news are not so much featuring women’s success, or articles by women however.

There are three pieces of news to look at. The Master of the Queen’s music has been appointed and it’s a woman Judith Weir, The composer. Jeremy Paxman’s successor has been appointed, and it’s a man, Evan Davis. Where was Kirsty Wark et al? Can we please see the short list Tony Hall? Who promised at least one woman on all panel shows.

 On 24th July, the EHRC, declared that all women shortlist would be illegal. What about the all male short lists? Not that we necessarily need all women shortlist, just 50% or slightly more would be acceptable.

Much is made each time a new woman is put on the board of a FTSE company, but they’re often, either from abroad, Canada, America, and often educated abroad or both.  What does that say about the way we educate our girls and women?

One successful woman in the city is Nicola Horlick:

“I believe the best board mix is 50/50.

I am on the board of an NHS hospital in Hampshire, where we have equal numbers of men and women.

Women do have a different outlook, men are often much more aggressive, and more outspoken.

Women generally more thoughtful, cautious, which can be very useful in terms of risk

I understand what risk is. I have a more tempered view than the average men.”

Nicola Horlick in interview with CityEye

Girl Conference  

Can women have an influence on some of the terrible atrocities, in the world?  Just to take two. Angelina Jolie, and Malala. Would the massive conference on the Girl, have taken place in London without Angelina and William Hague’s having a 3 day conference at the O2? After all these years, politicians seem to have woken up to arranged marriages and FGM. They will pass legislation. They will punish offenders.

Another woman to watch is Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development. “People now understand that we need to tackle it GFM in the UK.”   At Walworth Academy near Old Kent Road, David Cameron played host at the Girl Summit, a conference aiming to stamp out FGM, as well as child and forced marriage.

It is interesting that it is seen as the day of the girl, since a focus on women, would surely bring out the trolls, and sexists. After all even after these atrocities, girls grow up to be women.

The way in which Justine envisages private sector support, are in resources, donating money, but also in setting an example. She believes business can help show governments how to communicate the anti-FGM case. “This is one of the most complex marketing messages that you are ever going to have to come up with as a politician. Business can help us work out this sophisticated, nuanced, sensitive, thoughtful message that we’ve got to have, which changes people and doesn’t back them into a corner.”

Slightly different to the usual government response, which is more laws, and punishment, sending people to already overcrowded jails, doesn’t necessarily change how people think, or educate society.

Even in the city, corporations are beginning to see that investment in women is investment in the future and in the economy, and it is as necessary to have women at the top encouraging and facilitating, as it is to train women coming up through the ranks. It is a great waste of talent to ignore half the population.

Still too many men in grey suits, very often Oxbridge and Eton, showing that education gives both a sense of entitlement, and fosters strong self believe.

Gail Kelly CEO of one of the top Global banks, with 43% women, aiming at 50% by 2017.

“I’m a very consistent leader, and people won’t find me different day to day. You won’t have to have the sort of conversation that says ‘How is she today? Is this a good day to have this conversation?’ You won’t find that situation with me. I treat people with respect. I have a very genuine care for individuals; I have a very genuine sense of the power of individuals to make a difference, a very genuine belief that people matter, a very genuine belief of wanting the very best for individuals? I don’t shoot messengers; I’m always prepared to take a holistic view of a situation; I don’t jump to conclusions; I’m a good listener.”

Nicola Horlick stresses the importance of Diversity in all forms, male female, social, educational back ground, diversity in all its aspects. At her first job interview in banking, all the candidates were the same, both  Rothschild and Baring more of the same. But Warburg had true diversity, they had people from all over the world, a huge mix, of diversity, ethnic, gender, different education social  background, “I could see true meritocracy.”

The only woman at the Supreme Court Lady Hale said: “I used to be skeptical that women judges were bound to make a difference, but I have come to agree with those great women judges who think that sometimes, on occasions, we may make a difference.”

“Male Supreme Court justices mostly fit the stereotypical pattern of boys’ boarding school, Oxbridge college and the Inns of Court”,  “The Joint Committee on Human Rights actually proposed that there should be a duty to appoint a judiciary reflective of the community it serves.”

Independent 27 July 2014

Gail Kelly CEO of Westpac, who is  ranked 15th Globally.

“When I got to be a CEO I said: ‘Right. I’m now going to tackle gender inequality head-on. I’m going to make a difference, and lead by example, and actively put in place policies and practices to support women.’”

She has not only achieved a high level of success for her bank, but she sees Diversity and Inclusiveness as important. Could there be a connection?

©2014 CityEye. ionthecity.com

About the author

City Eye became interested in Overlooked and Overshadowed women, both in contemporary times and through out history. The former would include the women passed over for the Nobel in favour of their male colleagues. The later would be the wives of famous men, such as Mrs. Mandela. Her study of women written out of history, led her to interviews with interesting and inspirational women, (and some men). Extracts will be published in the articles. In no way is this men versus women, as to who is better. Simply that an overly macho, military, testosterone fueled environment, mainly men, needs the balancing attributes, often, though not exclusively, assigned to women: caring, conciliation, communication. Find out more: City Eye Blog ©christina ionthecity.wordpress.com

Related Posts