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2018 Annual Colloquium of the FTSE Programmes

The 2018 Colloquium of the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Programmes took place at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on Tuesday 24 April, and was one of our largest and most successful events yet. With more than 120 guests in total, including 19 Chairs, CEO and Senior Partner Mentors, we were delighted to welcome so many friends of the Foundation to participate in a morning of lively discussion and information-sharing.

This year’s Colloquium was chaired by Mr David Roberts CBE, Chair, Nationwide, and included a busy programme of sessions exploring the issues associated with developing and sustaining the pipeline of talented women in UK companies. The keynote speaker was Sir Philip Hampton, Chair, GlaxoSmithKline plc and Chair, Hampton-Alexander Review, who shared his insights on the progress being made by UK businesses. He highlighted the importance that the Hampton-Alexander Review attaches to its target of 33% women in senior executive leadership positions (members of ExCo and those that report directly to them). While progress is being made towards increasing female participation at NED level in UK boardrooms, Sir Philip believes the executive level, and the executive pipeline, must now be the priority.

We then heard from a panel of Senior Leaders that included John Allan CBE, Chair, Tesco plc; Ian Davis, Chair, Rolls-Royce plc; Joanna Place, Chief Operating Officer, Bank of England; and David Roberts CBE, Chair, Nationwide. This group spoke about the initiatives being taken within their organisations to ensure that able women become credible candidates for leadership roles, with issues such as flexible working, Shadow Boards and personal development plans being discussed.

Next, members of Cohorts 5 and 6 of the Next Generation Women Leaders Programme gave a presentation about their experiences of being on the Programme. They detailed some of their own personal and professional developments, how their contributions to their companies have changed, and what they have learned about getting the most from mentoring relationships.

Finally, we heard from a panel of members of The Queen’s Gallery Group, who spoke about the work carried out at their last meeting, which took place at Buckingham Palace in March. They outlined the details of those discussions, which covered the impact of strategic trends like digitisation and automation on the female executive pipeline, the changing nature of leadership, and what businesses might do next if gender balance across executive teams is to be achieved within our lifetimes.