Thursday, 17 March 2016

Good Interview with Dame Judith Hackitt on the IChemE Blog

Published last week, but I'm still catching up with my regular blogs after getting back from holiday on Sunday.

Some excerpts:

"[Interviewer:] Now you’re moving to become Chair of the EEF, what are your plans while [you're] there?  I took a sample size of 12 EEF customers and only one had a female CEO.  Is that on your agenda as Chair?
[JH:] I honestly don’t think that it’s front and centre of my mind.  What matters to me is not about gender equality, it’s about diversity.  And I think there is a real danger in playing on this ‘what we need is more women on boards’ debate.  It’s not.  What we need is boards to recognise how important it is to have diversity of thinking.  That is what will make them more robust, more resilient – and we need that more than ever in the challenging times we live in right now.  If you recognise that need for diversity of thinking, the rest will follow.  Women will become more numerous, along with other men who think and act differently from the stereotype that currently populates those boards."

"[Interviewer:] What else would you like to address in your new role at EEF?
[JH:] If you ask most people what manufacturing in the UK is about right now there is a perception that there used to be a manufacturing industry, and it’s now gone.  That’s so far from the truth it’s unbelievable.
The truth is we have some amazing new and exciting manufacturing industries out there.  The innovation that is going on is incredible.  I’m also on the board for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and some of the things that come out of that is amazing in terms of new products and innovative processes."

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