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Sir Roger, Chairman of BAE - Encouraging the next generation of female leaders

Category: Industry News, Employer Focus, Women, Engineering, technology

Encouraging the next generation of female leaders

Sir Roger Carr, Chairman of BAE Systems has joined 21 other industry leaders in lending his support to a new collaboration between the highly successful Speakers for Schools programme and the 30% Club which aims to encourage more diversity in the business world and the Boardroom.

Sir Roger joined a discussion on ‘Equality Across the Board’ led by Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management and Founder of The 30% Club. Other participants included Douglas Flint (Group Chairman, HSBC), Sir Nicholas Montagu (Chairman, Financial Ombudsman Service), Fiona Dunsire (CEO, Mercer UK), Sarah Sadek-Attalla (Headgirl) and Samuel Wilson (Headboy) at the St Angela’s Ursuline School in Newham, London.

Speakers for Schools has attracted support from dozens of business leaders and academics who give free talks to state secondary schools and colleges. The collaboration with the 30% Club began with a fortnight of talks on the theme of ‘Equality Across the Board’ to outline the enormous opportunities for women in the workplace. During his talk on Wednesday 14 January, Sir Roger outlined five pieces of life advice learned over the years followed by a call for young people to challenge the current status quo in business. Sir Roger Carr said: "What advice can someone like me offer? I was part of a lucky generation. Yours has far more challenges. But some things are better, like travel, you can see places that just weren’t open when I was your age. I have a few ground rules for getting on in life. The first, a dull one – but equip yourself with the best qualifications you can achieve – whatever those are and cultivate real life skills, academic skills can only take you so far. I’d also recommend you join in – meeting people is the key qualification will get you an interview, but people skills will get you the job. There is no handbook, and there is no one definition of success. It's becoming the person you want to be."

During the launch, Helena Morrissey CBE, Founder of the 30% Club commented: “The 30% Club is proud to be teaming up with Speakers for Schools to encourage all young students to believe that leadership positions in business are achievable and that their potential is limitless. I am excited about the prospect of extending the 30% Club’s influence across women at all stages of their lives, whether they be ten years into their career or in this case, still in education. To make gender diversity sustainable – and the norm – we need a continuum of change, from schoolroom to boardroom.”

Robert Peston, BBC Economics Editor and founder of Speakers for Schools said: “It is vitally important both that young women aim for the top, including sitting on the boards of our biggest businesses, and that young men understand how pernicious it is that women are so under-represented among those who run our most important and powerful institutions. The cost to the economy - to us - of female talent being squandered is huge. Which is why Speakers for Schools is so thrilled to be in partnership with the 30% Club to make sure young people understand they should not tolerate any barriers to their success based on gender.”

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