Highfields students go from schoolroom to boardroom

Two students from Highfields School in Matlock – part of the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership – rubbed shoulders with elite female role models at a recent seminar aimed at nurturing young female talent.

Year 11 pupils, Grace Pickford and Emily Hancock (pictured below) attended the 30% Club event in London on Tuesday 2nd of December, alongside Highfields PE teacher and School Sport Coordinator, Jayne Allen and Highfields Head of Personal Health and Social Education, Jane Turner.

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The event, led by 30% Club founder and CEO of Newton Investment Management Helena Morrissey CBE, aimed to set out plans for accelerating change towards better gender balance by turning the attention to nurturing young female talent from ‘schoolroom to boardroom’.

This was the 30% Club’s first seminar focused on pre-work and early careers, aiming to fill gaps where no programme exists as the 30% Club tries to develop a continuum of accelerated change.

The 30% Club’s new partnership with Speakers for Schools, an independent charity that organises free talks by inspirational speakers, including business leaders, for state secondary schools and colleges, was announced at the event.

A number of high-profile figures attended the event, including Minister for Sport, Tourism & Equalities, Helen Grant; Founding Director of Fearless Futures, Hanna McCloskey; CEO of Women in Sport, Ruth Holdaway and Women in Sport Schools Relationship Manager, Virginia Bailey; Professor of Management at the London Business School, Lynda Gratton and Girlguiding Chief Executive, Julie Bentley.

Highfields PE teacher, Jayne Allen, said: “The girls were both nervous and excited to be at the event and amongst such inspirational figures. They did a great job and we’re immensely proud of them.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Steering Committee Member of the 30% Club commented: “The 30% Club has traditionally focussed on women who have already reached a reasonably senior level in the workforce. This changed last year, when we began working with early and mid-career women, and we are now building on this to target sixth form students. We hope that by collaborating with Speakers for Schools, the 30% Club will help encourage students to aspire to reach their full potential and increase their confidence, which will serve them well as they enter the world of work.”


About The 30% Club (taken from 30percentclub.org)
The 30% Club is a group of business leaders committed to achieving better gender balance at all levels of organisations, because we believe this will make businesses and boards more effective.
We are taking voluntary steps towards the goal of 30% women on boards by 2015 and believe strongly that business-led change is the right way forward.
We do not support mandatory quotas; the experience of Norway (where still just 5% of CEOs are women) shows that a quota system does not lead to sustainable change in the executive pipeline. Meanwhile, concerted efforts by men and women working together on the issue over the past four years, following the launch of the 30% Club in 2010 and the publication of the Davies Report into Women on Boards in 2011, have led to a rapid acceleration in the pace of change in the UK.
In the year ended February 2012, 27% of FTSE 100 and 25% of FTSE 250 board appointments were female – in the six months ended September 2014, these figures rose to 33% and 31% respective – whilst work remains to be done in terms of increasing the numbers of women appointed to executive versus non-executive positions, this is a significant shift in the momentum of change. For more info visit 30percentclub.org