First Women Awards
Rather than focusing on gender quotas, it should always be about putting the right person in the job, regardless of their gender. Businesses need to value experience and loyalty in their people and where appropriate maintain a flexible attitude to employees who have childcare commitments.
Why should businesses actively pursue a diverse board? Because diversity creates a more innovative, dynamic boardroom, that incorporates more of the varied skills that make a business successful. So what can be done do to get more women into senior positions?
Perhaps somewhere along the way we as women lose the curiosity to try and understand how things work and how to solve problems. Personally I think it is far more likely there is an image problem with technology and I believe we should be able to do something about this if we work together.
As a proud mother to my young daughter, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for those individuals who struggle to establish a bond with their baby, which is why I jumped at the chance to get involved with the charity as a Trustee.
When you become a parent your children become the most precious thing you have, and it's natural to want to protect them. But is it possible to be too protective? Is there a link between 'cotton wool kids' and the shortage of practical skills demonstrated by those who want to do apprenticeships or study science and engineering at university? I think there could be.
Not surprisingly terms such as strong, decisive, assertive, competitive, selfish, and aggressive were considered to be masculine traits. Feminine ones included trustworthy, adaptable, supportive, selfless, empathetic, conscientious, intuitive, and social. This led to me thinking about the more successful leaders that I have worked with.
In all walks of life there is a gap between what is said and what is understood. But it is in the world of finance that the gap is arguably greatest, and with it the potential dangers. This attitude to finance - that it is necessarily complex and hard to understand - is everywhere and it is corrosive.
I have witnessed people's expectations of life and career change significantly over the last 20 years, especially for women. Today, when young people choose a career, there's a high expectation to move quickly and progress. If talent isn't recognised early, then these people can quickly become frustrated and demotivated.
The statistics for women 'on the tools' in construction - that means actually doing it rather than managing or supervising - is pitifully small. And even more of a shock, this hasn't changed since I trained as a carpenter and joiner over 30 years ago.
As Britain's latest youth unemployment figures almost hit the million mark - and nearly half of those are claiming benefits - surely it is time the coalition Government did more to help our young people into work?