There is a glaring gap in media coverage of clever women and ethnic minorities in the UK. When it does happen, it is often in 'niche' publications. I intend to try and rectify the balance - but to do it I need corporate sponsorship of candidates for this slot. On publication, the interviews will be promoted via social media.
SIR MARK MOODY-STUART, the first interviewee here, is neither female, nor a minority. But this is what he said about taking part (reluctantly) in a diversity project at Shell:
" I was at the top of Shell and we launched a diversity project. Of course I didn’t think I needed to participate. But when I did I found that I ticked every single ‘advantaged’ box from being male to being mobile to having a technical degree – it came as quite a shock."
Today we are thinking hard about whether we need to change our workplaces for better productivity and better inclusion. But we also need to look harder at people who remain 'invisible" - just as many women in senior executive positions were until Lord Davies's review in 2011 started to shine a light on potential non-executive candidates.
KAREN BLACKETT, OBE and CEO of MediaCom UK, is interview Number 2. As she says " It's about celebrating differences - and your own value."
I would like to thank both of them for their interviews and their support for this idea. Thanks also to Aberdeen Asset Management for being the first corporate sponsor, with the third interview - and to StyreInstitutt - the Norwegian Institute of Directors, which is supporting ones to come.