The 2019 HERoes Women Role Model Executive List was revealed recently, and I can’t lie, it made my heart sing! The 100 listed are all phenomenal women who are driving real change to increase gender diversity and equality in the workplace.
Each executive listed are from around the world and are at least three management levels from the chief executive at large companies or are the leaders of smaller organisations. They were judged on their influence in their role, their impact on women inside and outside the workplace alongside their business achievements.
The list makes for fantastic reading and I am proud to say I have met and worked with a number of the organisations where some of these women are driving change and setting out their plans.
Not only are these women leading the way in their chosen sectors by being top of their game, but they are committed to championing inclusivity, equality and diversity and are making real changes in often static sectors.
The list is filled with new initiatives, programmes, schemes and pro bono work that these women have initiated, built and brought to life in a direct response to a need within their businesses. It is amazing to see these actions born and watching them grow to become part of the norm in employee expectation and demand.
Change happens from within and it needs people to raise their heads above the paraphyte to make this happen and it’s wonderful to see key female leaders in huge corporate organisations such as Facebook, NatWest, KPMG and Vodafone making such positive waves – a sea change is happening!
Coming from a corporate background myself and now dedicated to implementing wellbeing programmes and driving cultural change, this list is hugely important and powerful. It shows that there is not only a need for diversity, equality and inclusivity in each and every workplace but there is a demand for it. “One and done” just isn’t good enough.
I do believe that there are organisations out there committed to be at the forefront of this however, so many others are lagging behind – perhaps due to lack of inspiration as to how to implement this change or a lack of belief that it makes good business sense. But whatever the reason if the gender/ethnicity is going to be eradicated within a generation more women like this need to be celebrated.
What is encouraging is that many of the new generation entering the work of world are expecting more of their prospective employees. They expect total equality of opportunity and want aspirational role models. Many employers are waking up to this with HR teams scratching their heads about how they can attract and retain this generation through opportunity and advancement.
Personally, in 2000 when I was new to the professional world, I would have loved to have seen more leaders like this in the businesses I worked in and to be honest would have been more inspired because of it. Let’s celebrate and champion this fantastic list of 100 incredible women who have not only recognised change is needed but are putting their money where their mouth is and making it happen. I will be following closely on all their initiatives and very much hope we see more UK businesses on the list next year.