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HSBC Mentee Network

Our conversations with Mentees and Alumnae revealed a strong desire on their part to connect with each other and to form a powerful network so that they could support each other effectively. To meet this need, and to provide an opportunity for these senior executives to learn from each other as well as from their Mentors, we established a Mentee Network six years ago, now kindly sponsored by HSBC plc.

The Mentees and Alumnae of the FTSE Executive Programme meet four times each year at HBSC’s headquarters for a morning of discussions and networking. The group has devised its own mission statement:

"Supporting the vision of more balanced boards through personal action and group contribution."

The network works to achieve this through specific activities:

supporting and promoting each other (including information sharing and influencing)
supporting and promoting the talent pipeline (helping bring through the next level of talent)
preparation and development for Board readiness (equipping themselves)
communications and profile-raising
growing the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Executive Programme.

The discussions around the formation and purpose of the Network and its desire to help the "pipeline" contributed to the shaping of the Next Generation Women Leaders Programme.

"Company sponsorship is an important catalyst, with a gearing type influence. The FTSE Executive Programme provides mentoring from Chairs and CEOs, networking, and is now moving on to help women at an earlier stage in the talent pipeline. The events and networking help to "glue it together" and drive more action. By giving the Mentees a chance to talk together and profile experiences, we inspire and motivate each other to do more. We’re grateful for the opportunities that the Programme is giving us, and talking about this encourages us to reach down and help women at an earlier stage. Without the opportunity to network and compare notes we would do less, in isolation."

Carole Machell, former Head of International Business, Corporate Banking, Barclays plc


Quilter Mentee Network

We are delighted that Quilter (formerly Old Mutual Group plc) kindly offered to sponsor a Mentee Network for our Next Generation Women Leaders Programme. There are currently 71 Mentees and Alumnae of the Programme, and the Mentee Network was launched at Buckingham Palace in May

The first meeting took place in February 2016. Quilter hosts all events at their offices, providing refreshments for the event, and the format for the Network meetings mirrors the HSBC Mentee Network for the Executive Programme.

Three meetings are held each year, comprising a mixture of updates from the Foundation on our work and related issues, and presentations by Mentees and Alumnae to the group about their career paths so far. From time to time, we invite external speakers to address the group.

To read more about the latest two meetings of the Network, click here.


The Queen’s Gallery Group

The Foundation launched a new community – The Queen’s Gallery Group – at Buckingham Palace in April 2016, in association with Ms Elisabeth Hunka CVO, Director of HR, The Royal Household. Our intention is to convene some of the UK’s leading professionals in the field of improving gender balance and bringing about broader change in their organisations, to share their experience and to stimulate fresh insights.

The new network had the benefit of wonderful surroundings at the Palace when we met – the day before The Queen’s 90th Birthday – and after some very thought-provoking group and theme discussions, the outputs of which were shared with Chairs at the Colloquium, we were honoured by a tour of the current exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery by Jonathan Marsden CVO FSA, Director of the Royal Collection and Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art, together with two of the curators.

The Foundation benefits from strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading operational executives responsible for furthering the cause of women’s careers within their organisations. Many of them, whilst connected with the Foundation, have not themselves been Mentees on the Executive Programme.

No forum previously existed under the umbrella of the Foundation’s work to bring these men and women together, and yet their work is crucial to the UK achieving robust and sustainable diversity. With the launch of this new network, we were able to assemble a group of formidably talented HR and diversity leaders for some very thought-provoking group and team discussions, and further gatherings are planned for the new group.


Annual Colloquium on the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Programmes

Every year the Foundation hosts a Colloquium for the FTSE Programmes. The first four of these were kindly hosted by Sir David Lees, then Chair of the Court of the Bank of England, at the Bank’s historic Threadneedle Street premises, and more recently they have taken place at Inner Temple.

The Colloquia are closed events for the Mentees, Mentors and friends of the Programme, with the purpose of updating those present on progress and enabling the sharing of ideas and insights, as well as allowing attendees to network informally with each other. We were delighted that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex attended our annual Colloquium in May, at the Inner Temple. The theme of the 2016 Colloquium was "Mentoring in Action: Developing and Sustaining the Pipeline of Talented Women in the UK", and 120 delegates – including many Chairs, Chief Executives and Managing Partners, alongside our Mentees and Alumnae – enjoyed a morning of discussion of issues relating to women’s careers.

HRH The Countess of Wessex speaking to NGWL Mentees and Alumnae
Panel discussion of Research Paper 3: ‘Tacking – Women’s Zig-Zag Careers’
David Roberts CBE, MC for the morning, Peninah Thomson and Sir Philip Hampton, the keynote speaker for this year’s Colloquium

The keynote speech was given by Sir Philip Hampton who, together with the late Dame Helen Alexander, was appointed to succeed The Lord Davies of Abersoch CBE as Chair of the Women on Boards Review (now Hampton-Alexander Review) being undertaken by the government. Other speakers included Mr Andy Higginson, Chair, Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc and Ms Lynne Burns, HR Director, Personal and Business Banking, Royal Bank of Scotland plc. The event was chaired by Mr David Roberts CBE, Chair, Nationwide Building Society.


Dinners and "in conversation" events for Executive Programme Mentees and Alumnae

We are extremely fortunate in the generous commitment of our Mentors, many of whom, in addition to their mentoring work, kindly host dinners or "in conversation" events over canapés and drinks with small groups of Mentees. These informal events are held under the Chatham House Rule to enable a frank exchange of experience and views.

In the first quarter of 2017, Mr Gavin Patterson (Chief Executive, BT plc) hosted a dinner in the revolving restaurant at the top of the BT Tower, and Mr John Abbott (Downstream Director, Royal Dutch Shell Group plc) hosted a dinner at Shell in February. More recently, in April, Sir Peter Gershon CBE FREng (Chair, National Grid plc) hosted a dinner at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Mr Simon Davies (then Chief People, Legal and Strategy Officer, Lloyds Banking Group plc), Mr Dennis Holt (Chair, Beazley plc) and Mr John Maltby (Chair, Good Energy Group plc) co-hosted a dinner in late 2016.

Previous events have been hosted by Niall FitzGerald KBE DSA (then Chair, Hakluyt and the British Museum), Sir John Parker (Chair, Anglo American), Sir David Reid (then Chair of Tesco plc), Don Robert (then Global CEO, Experian), John Stewart (then Chair, Legal & General Group plc), David Fass (CEO, EMEA, Macquarie Group Ltd) and Sir Peter Gershon, (Chair, National Grid plc).

Douglas Flint CBE (Chair, HSBC plc), Glyn Jones (Chair, Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd), Richard Davey (Chair, Amlin plc) and Carl-Henric Svanberg (Chair, BP plc) each also hosted a Mentee Dinner in 2014. Ian Powell (then Chair and Senior Partner, PwC LLP), and senior Mentors – Simon Davies (then Managing Partner, Linklaters LLP), Gavin Patterson (Chief Executive Officer, BT plc), Sir John Sawers (Former Chief, SIS), Charlie Geffen (Chair of London Corporate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP) and Douglas Flint CBE (Chair HSBC plc) hosted dinners in 2015.

Dinners in 2018 have been generously hosted by Mr Michael Dobson, Chair, Schroders plc and Sir Rob Margetts CBE FREng, Director, Huntsman Corporation; and by Mr Richard Gillingwater CBE, Chair, SSE plc. Mr Kevin Ellis, Chair and Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Mr Gideon Moore, Firmwide Managing Partner, Linklaters LLP co-hosted a dinner and Mr Bernard Looney FREng, Chief Executive – Upstream, BP plc and Sir Peter Gershon CBE FREng, Chair, National Grid plc closed the 2018 cycle with individual dinners.

Working with The Deloitte Academy
We are delighted to work in collaboration with the Deloitte Academy, offering our Executive Programme Mentees and Alumnae the opportunity to enrol on The Deloitte Academy’s "Navigating the Boardroom: Women on Boards" programme. Seven of our Mentees have participated in the Programme, which offers a mixture of education and networking events designed for women who have the potential to obtain Board positions.


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