Following the recent publication of the of the Hamilton/Alexander Review one year on report, this timely forum will bring together key stakeholders to discuss the progress made over the past twelve months in eliminating all-male boards in the FTSE 350, consider options for building the talent pipeline and inspiring the next generation of female leaders.

Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the quality and availability of support for women in work, including talent acquisition and recruitment, retention, promotion and training – particularly for those over 40 or returning from a career break.

Discussion will also focus the prevalence of flexible working - both how it can help women to succeed, but also what needs to be done to assist women wanting to move from part-time to full-time work, and provide an opportunity to debate the next steps for careers advice, mentoring schemes and professional development to support future female leaders.

With Gender Pay Gap reporting introduced earlier this year time will also be allocated to discuss the equality of pay, including what is being done to ensure women are not penalised for working part-time or disproportionately burdened by the cost of childcare.


08:30 - 08:55
Registration, Networking and Refreshments


08:55 - 09:00
Opening Remarks


09:00 - 09:30
The Hamilton/Alexander Review – Progress so Far and Challenges Ahead


09:30 - 10:30
Women in Leadership – Improving the Gender Balance in Boardrooms

  • To what extent out FTSE100 companies on target for women to fill a third of board positions by 2020?
  • Given SMES make up 99.9% of private sector employers; what best practice examples of improving representation can be translated to smaller companies?
  • What measures need to put in place to ensure women aren’t penalised for taking career breaks and are able to return to the same level job they left?
  • To what extent is further transparency neccessary to hold organisations to account on gender balance?
  • What role will corporate governance reform play in driving gender equality in senior management?
  • What role can executive recruiters play in supporting their clients to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions?

10:30 - 10:35
Closing Remarks


10:35 - 11:05
Refreshment and Networking Break


11:05 - 11:10
Opening Remarks


11:10 - 11:30
Gender Pay Gap Reporting – Best Practice and Impact


11:30 - 12:10
Supporting Women in the Workplace – Office Cultures, Flexibility and Re-Entering the Workplace

  • With women more likely to have childcare or other caring responsibilities, what is the likelihood of Government increasing paternity pay in line with maternity pay and what other incentives need to be put into place to encourage fathers to share parental leave? 
  • What impact have the extra 15 hours of free childcare had on the number of women being able to return to work after having children?
  • What more does Government need to do to communicate to employers the benefits of flexible working and what measures could be put in place to encourage employers advertise whether a role can be flexible in order to attract more female applicants?
  • What measures need to be put in place to overcome the added administrative and financial burdens on SMEs?

12:10 - 12:55
Building the Female Talent Pipeline – Inspiring the Next Gen Female Leaders

  • To what extent is current careers provision in schools and colleges encouraging young girls to be ambitious in planning their futures and how will the forthcoming Comprehensive Careers Strategy help to improve the quality of careers guidance?
  • With young girls far outnumbering the number of boys going onto study Higher Education, what role do universities play in providing sound careers advice to undergraduates and what more needs to be done to ensure there is a talented pipeline of female graduates across all sectors?
  • How successful have recent campaigns to increase the number of women studying STEM subjects been and what more needs to be done to address the disparity in other sectors such as finance or law?
  • With women dominating jobs in retail, childcare or hospitality, what role do employers in these sectors have in providing professional development for their staff, or access to training schemes in order for their staff to progress into better paid positions?
  • What are the next steps for a National Pathways into Work scheme for women returning to the workplace, as suggested by the Women and Equalities Select Committee in their inquiry into the Gender Pay Gap (GPG), and how will this help to ensure the UK does not continue to under-utilise women’s skillsets, particularly of those over 40?
  • With the Government so focussed on creating more apprenticeships over the course of this Parliament, what role could this type of qualification play in helping to retrain women who have had a career break, or who are looking for a change in profession?
  • How could the Government, the Skills Funding Agency and the Institute of Apprenticeships work with employers to identify skills gaps and design and brand apprenticeships with women of all ages in mind?

12:55 - 13:00
Closing Remarks



Venue details

Central London

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