International Women’s Day 2018: Round-up from our Chair

Cilla Snowball

Dame Cilla Snowball DBE, Chair of Women’s Business Council

To celebrate the 2018 International Women’s Day, Women’s Business Council members have been out and about raising awareness of the importance of gender equality in workplaces in the UK, celebrating 30 Male Change Agents – all of whom have transformed working cultures to be gender inclusive and have published some great articles on the importance of gender diversity for all.

Here’s just some of the things our members have been doing….


This week we’ve spoken at several events about the importance of gender equality in the UK workforce.

I’m delighted to have taken part yesterday in a panel discussion at Channel 4 on how we can press for progress towards gender equality, and at the Leaders & Daughters panel discussion on cultivating the next generation of women leaders.

Later in the week I’ll be discussing the importance of action for gender diversity, the role of men as change agents for equality and the importance of data and gender benchmarking at the London Business School.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) ran a fantastic International Women’s Day breakfast today to celebrate Tilly Shilling (the British aeronautical engineer and motor racer). MTC is passionate about promoting engineering as a profession, the initiative hopes to inspire and engage students of all ages and show them what a rewarding career, engineering can be.

Role models and Common Values

Last week Fiona Dawson wrote a brilliant article on the power of relatable real role models and the importance of embedding your company’s diversity initiatives on common values in Gender the Trojan horse of diversity.

Male Agents of Change

For the second year running we celebrated 30 exemplary Male Agents of Change for gender equality in collaboration with Management Today.

2018 winners include:

  • Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of the Hampton Alexander Review for his work in challenging the gender diversity of FTSE 350 companies to achieve a 33.3% female representation.
  • Marc Allera CEO of BT Consumer Business, whilst CEO of EE Marc committed to achieving a 50:50 gender split across all levels of EE by 2020. Every EE board member has a gender plan and an appointed gender champion.
  • Yann Borgstedt Founder of the Womanity Foundation an NGO which aims to empower girls and women in developing countries to shape their future and accelerate progress within their communities.


On Sunday, we published a great supportive toolkit for employers on Returners and Returner programmes, sponsored by Vodafone. Helen Lamprell, WBC member and General Counsel & External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK talks about Vodafone’s returnship programme and toolkit here.

Read Returners: a toolkit for employers  here.

Dame Cilla Snowball DBE is the Chair of Women’s Business Council, the Group Chairman and Group CEO of AMV BBDO