Recent Book! The Rise of the Female Executive: How Women’s Leadership is Accelerating Cultural Change

The Mentoring Foundation is delighted to announce the publication by Palgrave Macmillan of the latest book by Peninah Thomson, Clare Laurent and Tom Lloyd

The aim to bring gender equality to the boardroom is part of a broader societal project to ensure that more of our available talent, ability, and experience from every part of society moves to where it can create the most economic and social value. Lack of sufficient diversity of thought has been identified as a contributor to malpractices which ultimately led to the financial collapse in 2009. Redressing this imbalance continues to be an important goal for business and society alike. This book provides a timely review of progress in the gender-balancing of boards and places it in its broader societal context. It includes international comparisons and examines the UK and EU political environments. Ensuring a robust “pipeline” of our most talented women is critical to sustaining progress and the book offers insights into interventions that address this challenge. Featuring interviews with mentors and mentees, it illustrates how mentoring can play a part in helping women stay engaged with their ambition and with their career progression opportunities during times of transition when women traditionally fall away from the work place, and, later on, in increasing the number of women executives in positions of power in our corporations.

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Here is what some distinguished commentators have said about the book:

"We need to encourage and enable more women to achieve positions of leadership and to use those positions to change the culture within their organisations. We need to generate cultures in our companies which appeal to both men and women at all stages of their career and in which women are able to succeed in great numbers. This book and the continued work of the Foundation, in supporting able women at different stages of their career, make an important contribution to bringing about that change."
- Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman, GlaxoSmithKline plc

"It is increasingly acknowledged that mentoring plays an important role in accessing and developing diverse talent to the most senior management and boards of companies. What may not always be quite so apparent is the secondary benefit to the mentee’s organisation in terms of morale and inclusion and – dare I say it – to the sense of achievement of the mentor! Peninah Thomson has done a great service not only in championing the concept of mentoring but also in writing about it so lucidly and passionately."
- Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman, Financial Reporting Council

"In my nearly 25 years of training and development in the civil service, the last 18 months working with my mentor on the FTSE Programme have been the most precious, the most interesting and the most challenging. He shifted my way of thinking; we had different sorts of conversations."
- Sharon White, Chief Executive Officer, Ofcom

"This book, by Peninah Thomson and colleagues at The Mentoring Foundation, is very timely as a breakthrough is now occurring in terms of female representation on boards, and it needs to be sustained by mentoring a growing pipeline. I am delighted to see that, having set up a process with Lord Davies and his team, a voluntary approach based on the self-interest of companies in tapping into the female talent pool is now bearing fruit."
- Dr Vince Cable, Former MP and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

"FTSE 250 companies need to ensure they equip themselves to be competitive in an international marketplace as business culture evolves in the 21st century. As a Chairman Mentor on the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Programme, I believe that encouraging women to join boards is crucial to modernising organisational culture, improving how both companies and boards function, and this book outlines how companies (and individuals) can go about it."
- Nigel Rich CBE, Chairman, Segro plc

"Discussions of Venus and Mars are now generational. The new generation Y/Z is omni-channel. CEOs of today’s businesses need to get it, or they won’t be around in 20 years. For women, the next challenge is the pipeline, and women’s representation on Executive Committees. The biggest question is work-life balance. Culture’s critical. We need to start by knowing ourselves – compensate for your own weaknesses through your choice of team. We can learn a lot from the sporting world. Sports coaches apply science and psychology. Business needs to do the same."
- Lord Davies of Abersoch, CBE, at The Mentoring Foundation 2014 Colloquium, Inner Temple

"Our collaboration with the Mentoring Foundation has helped to stimulate great discussion and debate across our business, the FTSE 100 and beyond. As well as preparing senior women for board appointments, it has been very positive to focus on the development of women at an earlier stage in their career. The Next Generation Women Leaders Programme, described in this book, ensures that these talented women are gaining from the valuable experience of others to help them to achieve success and take ownership of a fulfilling career. I strongly believe that they will encourage diversity of thought which will have an impact on the culture of organisations as they progress."
- Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Group plc

"Historically, the diversity debate has been long on aspiration and short on delivery. This is where the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Programmes really make a difference, as this book demonstrates. By pairing talented women on the fast-track with senior business people with a record of success, wisdom and experience can be shared and self-confidence and poise created. And by organising the mentoring programme on a dynamic basis, the process can be tailored to the individual, the better to help them develop."
- Marcus Agius, Chairman, PA Consulting Group

"Talent is the rarest commodity. Yet we have sought to succeed as companies, institutions and nations while merely skimming the surface of that half of the talent pool which is female. How stupid can that be? We should be desperate for any help in addressing this imbalance – and here it is. The case is powerfully made, remarkably valuable experience is shared, we are provided with the tool kit. Read “The Rise of the Female Executive”. The survival of your organisation depends upon it."
- Niall FitzGerald KBE, Chairman, The Leverhulme Trust

"The great value of mentoring, and cross company mentoring in particular, is the opportunity to help women to better assess how to progress in their career, and to discuss issues more independently and objectively. I believe mentoring has an important role to play in helping us ensure that we fully harness the capabilities and potential of the UK’s enviably large population of talented women. This wise book makes a compelling case for redoubling our efforts. Our businesses and the wider economy will be the beneficiaries."
- António Horta-Osório, Chief Executive Officer, Lloyds Banking Group plc