Our boardrooms are lacking in gender diversity, and the absence of female representation has an impact at all levels of an organisation. The presence of strong, female role models across all sectors and industries is essential to develop a pool of diverse rising talent.

Today I’m delighted to share the news with you that Sarah Pinch @ms_organised has been named in the Financial Times (FT) and HERoes Top 100 Female Champions of Women in Business list #FTHERoes.

The initiative celebrates company leaders who support women in business and have made a substantial difference to women’s careers.

Did you know?

  • Women still earn 18% less than their male colleagues
  • There are still only seven female CEOs in the FTSE 100
  • Men are still 40% more likely to be promoted to senior management roles, over their female colleagues.

Following the success of the first ever FT and HERoes Champions of Women in Business in 2017, it’s back to celebrate even more inspirational Role Models on a global scale.

The showcase includes 100 Female Executives, 50 Male Executives and 50 Female Future Leaders, with Sarah being named at #45 on the 100 Female Executives list. The lists celebrate not just those who have achieved significant success in their own careers, but also those elevating others during their rise through the ranks.

Sarah’s recognition states: “This year, Sarah has appointed a female Non Executive to her company, to advise on growth plans – but also to underpin the company’s commitment to diversity. In May she launched Pinch Point’s inaugural conference – Spring Forward – aimed at women who want to run the show and are looking for inspiration in their careers and lives. She continues to mentor a number of women, including cementing her relationship with Anne-Marie Lacey, from Filament PR, by becoming the first NED for Filament PR.

“She was also appointed Chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation in 2017, and is the youngest board member to be appointed to HSE. Externally, Sarah has been a volunteer with One Million Mentors, and mentored a young women who has now, with her support, taken the leap to move city and industry. Sarah continues to dedicate a lot of time to mentoring and coaching young women in PR, including assisting with a complaint of sexual harassment. As a past President of the CIPR she still speaks out on issues of diversity and unequal treatment of women; recently chairing debates and discussions, and talking at conferences and events.”

I caught up with Sarah to discover how she feels about today’s news and what her plans are.

So Sarah this is the second year running you’ve been listed

Yes, it’s simply amazing to me. My great friend and colleague, our fellow CIPR friend Stuart Bruce asked recently about ambition….and I responded to his request by explaining how I’m fiercely ambitions about issues. I don’t give a jot about who gets the credit.

“This listing is about what I am doing, not who I am.”

What issues are important to you and what are you ambitious for?

Anything that relates to access and equity. I love working in communications, having a public appointment with the HSE and running my own business, and at the end of last year I had the honour of being appointed chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation (TBF).

Our profession is not equitable and it is not easily accessible, if you are come from a different background, than that which is ‘usual’ in  PR .

I am ambitious to change that. The TBF is doing such an amazing  job to put that right, in terms of BAME representation, it’s so fantastic to chair that organisation.

For me, personally, I have always had a great passion for equity for women at work. I started my campaign more than two decades ago when I worked for the BBC.

This year I launched Spring Forward our inaugural conference for women who want to take the next step in their career. I was so pleased that more than 40 women came and the feedback was superb. We’re already planning for 2019.  More details to follow.

I hope you will come and speak Rachel. The focus next year is on being your authentic self and I know that is something that is very important to you.

Being in the FT and listed by INvolve must be a very proud moment?

It’s humbling. I dedicate it to my maternal grandma, a trailblazer before her time. And to an exceptionally brave young woman who this year trusted me with an issue of serious sexual harassment in the work place, it was a privilege and a huge responsibility to take forward the anonymous report, presenting it to the man’s employer.

I did it because I am ambitious for a workplace where harassment of any nature has no place. I was relieved and pleased to hear from the head of the organisation that they took it hugely seriously and have resolved it. That young woman believed in me and I am honoured to have helped.

So what’s next?

Well I am currently on holiday so I think kayaking, tennis and yoga….followed by a large glass of champagne are in order.

On Monday we interview for the new CEO of the Taylor Bennett Foundation and on Thursday 25 October at Sarah Pinch Limited we launch our White Paper on Women in the workplace: Confidence, Choice and Culture and we shall talk about Sprint Forward, our special mentoring programme.

I’m very excited about the future, and Rachel, optimistic. I do believe it’s getting better. Finally, can I thank you for your support, professional of course, but also, personally.  Women need to have each other’s back, and I know you’re right there for me, it means a lot.

Congratulations on being named in the list Sarah, I’m delighted for you and the opportunities it brings to shine a spotlight on issues that are close to your heart.

You can find out more about the FT lists via their website and #FTHERoes.

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller.

First published on the All Things IC blog 20 September 2018.

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