Shocked. That was my first reaction to the reports that came out of the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review into women on boards. I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
For those who haven’t seen the report, it makes for disturbing reading. “Explanations” from a range of FTSE 350 Chairs and CEOs - those whose companies have been challenged to make sure at least a third of their board members and leadership are women by 2020 - are pretty insulting.
So we have two options: we can sit back and let all of those views slide, or we can do something to make a difference. I’m in the latter camp.
I am highly committed to driving change for women in the workplace wherever and whenever I can. It’s the reason Bacs was the first payment scheme to sign up to the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, why I am responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion within Bacs, and the motive for me becoming chair of the EPA’s Women in PayTech group.
I’m very proud of the work the group has delivered so far and I must say thank you to the EPA’s Tony Craddock, Niki Akhurst, and Tory Batten for all of their hard work. The Women in PayTech events have attracted the support of the likes of Amazon and Visa, and senior industry figures such as Andrea Dunlop, Angela Yore, and Tessa Unsworth.
Sadly though, the report was a bit of a wake-up call. It made me realise that however great the strides we think we have made, there is much, much more to be done. It is so important for us to continue to promote diversity and to highlight the benefits that it brings for the economy and for society.
If you want to join the crusade, take the first step by coming along to the next EPA Women in PayTech event on 12 September and join our LinkedIn group EPA Women in PayTech. We CAN make a difference if we all pull together.