Panel Debate: Women in the C-Suite


Panel Debate: Women in the C-Suite
The Conference Suite, The Financial Times, Number One Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HL
Tuesday 26 February 2013 – 6.00-8.00pm

Drawing on Professor Colette Fagan’s recent publication evaluating the impact of international gender equality policies, this unique event will seek to answer the question of not just how businesses can engage more women in senior management roles, but also why they should.

Colette will be joined by a high-profile panel of women who are operating at the top of their respective fields and have an eye on policy in the UK and abroad who will comment on the trends identified in her research and seek to develop a “road forward”, drawing on their own experience of how women add value to business and the board room. The panel will also take questions from the floor on the issues raised by their debate and their own experience; all moderated by Beverly Topping, former President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors in Canada.

Our prestigious panel will consist of:

Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO Newton Investment Management and founder of The 30% Club
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary Designate of the Trades Unions Congress
Angela Spindler, CEO, The Original Factory Shop (shortly to take up post as the new Chief Executive of N Brown)

colette faganColette Fagan

Colette is Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester, UK. She is a non-executive member of the Board of the University of Manchester (2009-) where her role includes serving on the finance committee and previously on the risk and audit committee.
Colette’s research focuses on the field of employment and public policy with particular interests in gender inequalities and gender mainstreaming; working conditions and job quality; working-time (and time-use more broadly); and international comparative analysis. She is the UK national academic expert in the European Commission’s Expert Network on Employment and Gender Equality (ENEGE), which is coordinated by the Fondazione Giacome Brodolini (FGB), Italy.
Her recent publications include Fagan, C., González, M., and S. Gomez (eds.) (2012) Women on corporate boards and in top management: European trends and policy.
Prof. Fagan’s most recent book (an edited volume) will form the basis of the panel discussion.


Helena MorrisseyHelena Morrissey CBE

Helena joined Newton in 1994 as a fixed income fund manager and was appointed CEO in 2001. During her time running Newton’s bond funds she was twice-winner of Investment Week’s Global Bond Fund Manager of the year.
Helena is involved in many aspects of the UK fund management industry and was named the Financial News ‘Most Influential Woman in European Asset Management’ in 2010. She was the first female director of the UK’s Investment Management Association, serving from 2005 till 2012. She represents the investment industry on the FSA’s Practitioner Panel, a statutory body providing input to the regulators from practitioners’ perspectives . She is a member of the University of Cambridge Endowment Investment Board and chairman of the Eve Appeal, which funds research into gynaecological cancers.
In 2010, Helena founded the 30% Club, a cross-business initiative aimed at achieving 30% women on UK corporate boards by 2015 through voluntary, business-led change. She was appointed CBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours list.
A Cambridge philosophy graduate, she began her career as a global bond analyst with Schroders in New York. She is married with nine children.


Francis OGradyFrances O’Grady

Frances has been an active trade unionist and campaigner all her working life.
Before the TUC, Frances worked for the Transport and General Workers Union where she worked on successful campaigns to stop the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board and for the introduction of a national minimum wage, equal pay for women, and on a range of industrial wage claims.
As Deputy General Secretary on the TUC since 2003, Frances led on winning the 2012 Principles of Co-operation Agreement with the Olympic Authorities, guaranteeing on-site minimum standards for local jobs, health and safety and the London living wage. Frances has also led on industrial policy arguing the case for a strategic approach to rebalancing the economy in the wake of the financial crash. Fair pay remains a core ambition and she is on the Resolution Foundation’s Commission on Living Standards, and has been a member of the Low Pay and the High Pay Commissions.


Angela SpindlerAngela Spindler

Angela was a Graduate Trainee with Cadbury Schweppes, she then became a National Account Manager in the newly formed CCSB. In 1988 she moved to Pedigree Petfoods where she carried out roles in Sales, Marketing and HR. After five years as Trading Director, working with the major multiples, she left to join Asda. Angela stayed at Asda for 10 years; she held a number of Main Board positions: Food Trading, Marketing, Retail Development, and finally Managing Director for Global George. She left in September 2007 to join Debenhams as MD. She left Debenhams in December to become CEO of the fast growing, PE backed, discount chain. An opportunity she describes as “simply too good to miss!” Angela has also been a NED at Manchester Airport Group since February 2008. In January 2013 it was announced that Angela would shortly take up post as the new Chief Executive of online and catalogue fashion retailer N Brown.



Beverly ToppingBeverly Topping

Beverly Topping is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Corporate Directors in Canada and has served on several boards including Canada Trust Financial Services, Cara Operations, the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation, the Toronto International Film Festival, and Women’s College Hospital Foundation.
Particular highlights of Beverly’s career were her founding of Today’s Parent Group and the development of a multimedia company, which she sold to Rogers Media in 2000. Beverly has spoken at numerous international symposiums on governance and business enterprise.



About Author

Manchester Business School has a global reputation for innovative and influential teaching and research, which impacts business on a local, national and international level. We call this Original Thinking Applied.

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