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Meeting of the HSBC Mentee Network in November 2018

The HSBC Mentee Network Meeting on Tuesday 13th November 2018 was a little unusual, with two guest speakers, Ms Madeleine Alessandri, Deputy National Security Adviser, Cabinet Office, and Ms Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO, FLYBE Group plc.

Madeleine Alessandri is an alumna of the FTSE Executive Programme, with over 3 decades of experience working in National Security. This summer, she was appointed Deputy National Security Adviser. The Government Response to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s Report on Diversity and Inclusion in the Intelligence Community, published in July 2018, quotes the National Security Adviser, Sir Mark Sedwill, as saying "the current national security environment is more complex than ever before. We face multi-faceted threats from many corners of the world, facilitated by rapidly evolving technologies. To meet these challenges, we need a national security workforce of different backgrounds, perspectives and ways of thinking. Diversity and inclusion are Mission Critical."

Madeleine is one of Sir Mark’s two deputies. She provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to discuss some of the challenges facing the UK’s national security over the next ten years. In her talk, she:

described and discussed a values-based national security policy
considered the importance of diversity and inclusion in national security
busted some common myths about work in the national security sector, and
identified how every citizen can contribute to national security through their own behaviours.

We were then joined by Christine Ourmières-Widener, who kindly agreed to participate in an "In Conversation With…" Christine is a current Mentee on the FTSE Executive Programme, and is the CEO of FLYBE Group plc. Christine has a distinguished career as a global airline and travel executive, having held executive roles in Air France, Air France KLM, CityJet, and American Express Global Business Travel before being appointed CEO of Flybe. She has, among many other qualifications, a Masters degree in aeronautics.

Mentees and Alumnae were delighted to meet both Madeleine and Christine, to have the chance to explore with them the substance of each of their talks, and to enjoy a buffet lunch (see photo) kindly provided by HSBC.

At an earlier Mentee Network session in June, we welcomed Emma Delaney from BP plc to speak with Mentees and Alumnae. During an "In Conversation With…" session, Emma shared her career story and discussed the challenges and opportunities she has faced as she has built her career at BP.

In January 2017, Emma was appointed Regional President, Mauritania and Senegal for BP. She is now responsible for establishing BP’s newest upstream region and managing its partnerships with other stakeholders to explore and develop an emerging world-class hydrocarbon basin in Mauritania and Senegal.