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Guildford Slightly Ahead Of UK Average For Women Directors

Published on: 18 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 18 Apr, 2013
Claire Dee

Claire Dee.

 

In this regular monthly column, a must read for all those interested in Guildford business, Claire Dee reports on Margaret Thatcher and women in the workplace.

This week officially marked the passing of one of the world’s leading women as London played host to Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.

Known as the Iron Lady, she was a formidable UK prime minister from 1979 to 1990 – a period in which I grew up and remember well.

Women in business were rare; women leaders even more so. And while I may not have always agreed with her policies, I most definitely listened and absorbed and was in turn influenced. Margaret Thatcher made me realise I too could be a successful woman in business, and perhaps even leadership.

Having worked at a senior level in London for many years, closely followed by becoming the director of my own Surrey business, I think it’s fair to say I can tick both boxes. Sadly, however, that’s not necessarily the case for all women across the country.

According to a recent report from The Cranfield School of Management, progress in appointing more women to board level roles at top UK firms has slowed.

The findings show that in the first six months since the last report (March 2012), the pace of change was extremely encouraging with 44% of new FTSE 100 board appointments going to women and 36% on FTSE 250 companies. However, those high levels were short-lived and over the following six months dropped to 26% and 29% respectively.

One step forward and several back…

There is some good news though, with Guildford proving to be slightly ahead of that curve. Business confidence analysis from Duport shows that not only was 2012 a record year for company registrations in the town, but the percentage of female directors in Guildford in 2012 was 31.6% compared to the UK average of 29.9%.

Small steps, but this time in the right direction, and I’m delighted to have been able to contribute to them in some way.  Thanks Maggie.

Claire Dee runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford and is an active member of the local business community including sitting on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Council.  To learn more visit www.clairedeecommunications.com

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