Beyond the Black Square
8th March 2017 9 minutes read
Our criteria for assessing ‘real models’ is a mark out of 40 across;
To celebrate International Women’s Day , we have pulled together a list of our Top 25 Real Models. Each one has scored at least 35/40 by our advisory board and have credible evidence of actually challenging the cultures within their organisations.
See the full list below;
Sophie Walker – Leader, Women’s Equality Party
Under Sophie’s leadership. WE helped encourage the Conservative government into a ‘U’-turn on its decision to remove feminism from the ‘A’-level politics curriculum and bring forward plans to make the Equal Pay Act more effective. She met SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to discuss further investment in childcare. And after the launch of the Women’s Equality Party’s e-Quality campaign to protect women’s rights online, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael invited Sophie’s team to co-write an amendment to the Crime & Policing Bill that is currently being considered in Parliament, so that revenge porn law is more effective.
Sharon White – CEO, OfCom
Sharon White has been the Chief Executive Officer of Ofcom since March 2015. Sharon became second permanent secretary of HM Treasury, with overall responsibility for managing the UK’s public finances in November 2013. She has 25 years’ experience in public sector and government roles and worked at the British Embassy in Washington, the Number 10 Policy Unit and the World Bank. She is a very visible role model for social mobility and race and has been the driving force for the media industries harder diversity targets in the UK.
Sue Owen CB – Permanent Secretary, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Sue Owen is the Permanent Secretary for DCMS and the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Champion and LGB&TI Champion. The Government Equalities Office is also situated in DCMS. As Permanent Secretary, Sue oversees civil servants in the fields of the arts, sport, tourism, creative industries and media. She works with 45 Arm’s Length Bodies, overseeing appointments to their boards. From 2013-15 her role also included promoting equality and diversity in society, including some matters related to the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Eileen Burbidge MBE – Partner, Passion Capital
Eileen Burbidge, a partner at Passion Capital, is one of the most powerful people in Silicon Roundabout, with a list of roles and achievements that would make most people feel exhausted just reading: chair of Tech City UK, member of David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group; and HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech just to name a few, she is also a highly visible speaker for women in tech and also picked up an MBE last summer.
Sandie Okoro – SVP & General Counsel, World Bank Group
World Bank’s newly appointed general counsel boasts a wealth of big names on her CV, including Barings and Schroders. But it’s not just the legal world she has impressed in: Sandie has been named the fourth most influential black person in Britain in 2015 and one of 10 women changing the face of the CIiy. She is passionate about the arts too: she was appointed to the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2014.
Vivian Hunt – Managing partner UK&I, McKinsey
In two decades at McKinsey, Vivian Hunt has risen to managing partner of the influential consultancy’s UK and Ireland division, leading a team of 1,100 and working closely with global managing director Dominic Barton. After her undergraduate degree, Vivian joined the Peace Corps, working in Senegal as a midwife and primary care worker for two and a half years before doing an MBA at Harvard and then joining McKinsey in Boston. She is an eloquent proponent of racial and gender diversity.
Dame Fiona Wolfe – Partner, CMS
Fiona Woolf is a partner with the law firm CMS and an alderman of the City of London Corporation, one of only three women to be elected an alderman since 1111 when records began. She was the second woman Alderman to be elected as a sheriff since around 920 and the second woman to be president of the Law Society of England and Wales. She has been a senior advisor to London Economics International, a non-executive director of Affinity Water Ltd and is a member of the Women’s Business Council.
Vanessa Vallely – Founder, We Are The City
Vanessa is one of the UK’s most well-networked women and has provided keynotes on networking and personal branding for over 175 companies worldwide. At the height of a successful 25 year career in the financial services, She launched the award winning WeAreTheCity.com in 2008 as a vehicle to help corporate women connect and grow professionally and personally. WeAreTheCity.com now has over 42,000 members and in 2013 launched a sister site in India.
Tracey Groves – Governance, Risk & Compliance Leader, PwC
Tracey Groves joined PwC as a trainee chartered accountant in 1991. In addition to her as governance, risk and compliance leader, she is also chair of PwCs gender balance network, which has been named among the world’s 10 best women employees networks.
Antonia Belcher – Founding Partner, MHBC
After 40 years in property, Antonia Belcher has worked on everything from the Royal Courts of Justice to Leicester City’s stadium. In 2007 she became a founding equity partner at MHBC. Having transitioned in 2000, she is a vocal LGBT+ campaigner and highly visible role model for gender advocacy in the city.
Eleanor Kelly – CEO, Southwark Council
Eleanor Kelly was appointed as the council’s permanent chief executive and statutory head of paid service in July 2012. She has held a number of non-executive directorships, most notably as a trustee of a charitable trust, and as a non-executive chairman of the board of directors for a private consultancy company. Eleanor is also a strong advocate for gender parity and representation in the public sector.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC – Peer
Baroness Scotland of Asthal was the first black woman to be made a Queen’s Counsel in 1991. She was 35 years old, which made her the youngest person in over 200 years to take silk. In 1999 she became the first black female government minister and in 2007 the first female Attorney General, appointed by Gordon Brown. Lady Scotland joined the Lords in 1997 when she was made a Labour peer by Tony Blair.
Sacha Romanovitch – CEO, Grant Thornton UK
With a masters in chemistry from Oxford, Sacha Romanovitch began her career in Grant Thornton in 1990. She became a partner in 2001 and was named the first female boss of a major City accountancy firm last year. At the time, she unveiled a John Lewis-style profit share scheme for her staff, which the company suggested would boost salaries by 25 per cent.
Brenda (Hebb) Trenowden – Global Chair, 30% Club
Brenda D.H. Trenowden, CFA, is at ANZ, where she leads the Financial Institutions Group in Europe. She sits on the UK Management Board and is an executive director of ANZ’s UK Bank subsidiary, ANZ Bank (Europe) Ltd, as well as all of ANZ’s other UK subsidiaries. Brenda has established a history of building international businesses and teams and managing complex client relationships across the globe. She has lived and worked in a number of different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America and has worked for some of the world’s largest banks, including Citi, BNP Paribas, Lloyds Banking Group, and BNY Mellon. She is also the global chair of the 30% Club
Baroness Vadera of Holland Park PC – Chairman, Santander UK
The sharp-elbowed former UBS Warburg investment banker is a phenomenal networker. As a backroom counsellor and government minister under Gordon Brown, Baroness Vadera had a single gear: fast. She has emerged as queen of the City’s Brexit response effort, helping co-ordinate senior financiers’ contact with the government. Having lived in Uganda until the age of eight and in India until the age of 15, she spoke out after the death this year of her friend Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley & Spen, to say that she loved “the Britain that can nurture immigrants like me”.
Josephine Groube – CEO, Techfugees
Josephine Groube co-founded Techfugees, a social enterprise coordinating the international tech community’s response to the needs of Refugees. Previously, she was director of partnerships at web portal Migreat, which helps migrants move and settle in Europe. She is a fierce lobbyist for smarter immigration policies and has been selected to lead the EU’s immigration experts group to advise on the reform of visa rules for foreign entrepreneurs in Europe. Josephine was previously co-managing director of Girls in Tech, a UK non-profit organisation raising the visibility of women in tech, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Tina Fordham – Chief Global Political Analyst, Citigroup
Citigroup’s chief global political analyst was among the first dedicated political analysts on Wall Street. After moving to London in 2004, she served as senior adviser to Tony Blair’s strategy unit. She is on the UN’s high-level panel on women’s economic empowerment.
Inga Beale DBE – CEO, Lloyds of London
Inga Beale joined Lloyd’s in January 2014 after stints at Canopius and Zurich. She has focused her efforts on modernising the institution, embracing technology, empowering minorities and pushing discussions about topics such as cyber-security and terrorism. She is a publicly open bi-sexual and was recently recognised as the leading global LGBT executive
Dr Nemat ‘Minouche’ Shafik DBE- Director, London School of Economics (as of September 2017)
Once the World Bank’s youngest-ever vice president, and with degrees from Oxford, LSE and Massachusetts-Amherst, before taking a permanent role as VC of one of the world’s leading universities, Dr Shafik was appointed as deputy governor of markets and banking at the Bank of England by Mark Carney in August 2014, making her arguably the City’s most powerful woman. Having chaired the BoE’s much-anticipated Fair and Effective Markets Review, she has been vocal about the importance of improving City culture and women’s parity.
Sam Smith – CEO, FinnCap
After qualifying as a chartered accountant and spending three years at KPMG, Sam joined investment manager JM Finn in 1998, where she helped lead the buyout of its corporate finance division in 2007, the result of which was FinnCap. One of very few female chief executives of a City broker, she is also involved in various mentoring initiatives, including the Women of the Future awards.
Helena Morrissey CBE – Non-Executive Chairman, Newton Investment Management
Anyone interested in boardroom diversity will know Newton’s chief executive from the 30 Per Cent Club, which she founded to increase the proportion of women in boardrooms. Helena is also chair of the Investment Association, and is on the government’s Financial Services Trade and Investment Board.
Kirstine Cooper – General Counsel, Aviva
Kirstine joined Aviva in 1991 and is the Group General Counsel and Company Secretary for Aviva plc and heads the Office of the Chairman. As the first female general counsel and company secretary in Aviva’s 320 years, Kirstine continues to put her money where her mouth is, sponsoring Aviva’s Women’s Network, and is on the board of the English National Ballet.
Baroness Lane Fox of Soho CBE – Entrepreneur
Martha Lane Fox made her name with Lastminute.com, which she floated in 2000. Since then, she has founded karaoke chain Lucky Voice and become chancellor of the Open University. Since her monumental rise to business fame, Baroness Lane Fox has been an advocate for women in tech and gender equal presentation on boards. In 2013, she joined the House of Lords – the youngest woman ever in the upper chamber.
Dr Claudia Natanson, Chief Security Officer, Department for Work and Pensions
Dr Natanson is a veteran in information security having worked at executive level across mega-organisations such as Diageo, BT and various teams within The White House. She now consults for the DWP and has overseen a 40% increase in people becoming certified practitioners in Britain since she joined. She has forwarded the horizon for women in risk and technology across the UK and US and is a very visible speaker on the subject.
Arabel Bailey, Managing Director, UK/Ireland Lead of Accenture Digital, London
Arabel leads one of Accenture’s largest business units, Accenture Digital, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, sitting on the UK/Ireland Executive Board. She manages a team of almost 1,000 people and is a passionate advocate for flexible working and return to work policy within the consultancy.