Hanson Search Founder and CEO Alice Weightman has joined the 30% Club, strengthening her commitment to improving gender diversity in the higher ranks of business. This comes as a natural step for Alice, who has long been involved in equality initiatives, particularly gender equality in the PR and communications industry. It also follows the launch of the 30% Club GCC Chapter, of which Hanson Search MENA MD Felice Hurst is a founding member.
The 30% Club launched as a campaign in the UK in 2010 with a goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-100 boards – currently the figure stand at 27% up from 12.5%. Accelerated progress has been achieved through the leadership of its member Chairs and CEOs. In addition to the critical recognition that better gender balance leads to better results, five factors created a replicable formula for success:
- a measurable goal with a defined timetable
- supportive public policy that acknowledged that the status quo was unacceptable
- change driven by those in power
- openness to collaborate
- a concerted and consistent series of actions and programmes, from schoolrooms to boardrooms
Commenting on joining the campaign, Alice said: “This is not about a pipeline problem; we have incredibly talented women working in these companies. This is about finding ways to encourage and support those women into the top jobs. Often at the most senior level, we look around and wonder, ‘where have all the women gone?’ We lose far too much talent because businesses haven’t figured out how to support the parents, most often the mums, who work for them.”
As CEO of Hanson Search, Alice has steered the business into many initiatives to support diversity, inclusion and equality. From regularly sponsoring networking events for Women in Public Affairs and Women in PR, supporting the launch of Global Women in PR Middle East, launching a programme to help ambitious young adults break into the communications industry, commissioning research into the impact of maternity leave on the industry, through to sponsoring the Women of Tomorrow Awards. It’s one of the reasons she launched her latest business, The Work Crowd, a digital platform connecting freelance talent and businesses.
Alice is looking forward to maximising her role in the campaign and taking her efforts – and her crucial position in executive search – further, to get more women represented at the top.