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Kindly sponsored and hosted by Mayer Brown, the Lord Mayor’s Power of Diversity breakfast seminar series continued on Tuesday 20th June with the second topic: Building a gender diverse business. In the UK alone, women who take a career break collectively lose out on £1bn in annual earnings and, on the flip side, the UK would see a huge £1.7bn boost to annual GDP were this gap to be addressed.

With Alderman Charles Bowman in attendance in the Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley's absence, and chaired by Julie Bentley, CEO of Girlguiding and voted Britain’s Most Admired Charity Chief Executive at the “Third Sector Awards,” the breakfast shared insights and success stories from experts on the subject, including:

  • Professor Averil MacDonald, OBE Dsc, D.Univ, CPhys, FInstP FRSA
  • Barbara Harvey, Managing Director, Accenture
  • Lisa Unwin, Founder, She’s Back

What the speakers said:

Research suggests that there is a talent pool of a staggering 550,000 women with professional and managerial experience who have had a career break, of which three quarters are seeking to come back to work. Lisa Unwin, Founder of She’s Back, took a career break herself and responded to the lack of clear opportunities for women to return to professional life with She’s Back in her engaging and encouraging speech. Professor Averil MacDonald talked about how to source and attract future women leaders whilst illuminating the problems and risks to business success of bias in recruitment, supported by some shocking statistics, whilst Barbara Harvey, Managing Director at Accenture discussed reducing the gender pay gap and the necessity to accelerate the work we are doing. The session closed with an opportunity for Q&A between the audience and panellists, followed by networking.

What our guests said:

“This morning’s session was brilliant and I have taken many practical tips that we can hopefully start implementing - thank you!” - Michaela Gibson, XL Catlin

What City A.M. said:

Key dates

The Power of Diversity Series consists of six D&I themed breakfasts, the full programme can be viewed here.

To become a member please email diversity@thelordmayorsappeal.org or call 020 7332 3777.