Dr Rachel O’Connell, TrustElevate founder and CEO has been named a ‘woman to watch’ in the annual list compiled by Cranfield School of Management.
Launched alongside the Female FTSE Board Report, which provides an annual analysis of women on the boards of FTSE 350 companies, the Women to Watch 2021 is intended to shine a light on the impressive talent pool of women in business and offer a snapshot of some of those considered potential board members of the future.
The list spotlights 100 leading female professionals who the authors believe are ideally suited for consideration as non-executive directors (NEDs) on the boards of FTSE 350 companies now or in the near future.
Dr O’Connell said: “My whole career has been highlighting the perils of online safety for children which should be on everyone’s agenda, but sadly only makes the news when a young person takes their own life, or a paedophile ring is exposed. I hope this accolade will make more people curious about the work my team and I are doing to enable children to learn and play safely on the internet, and get it spoken about and rolled out to companies who should be age verifying their users. ”
Diversity in all its forms
The Women to Watch supplement was introduced by Cranfield University’s Gender, Leadership and Inclusion Centre in 2009.
Hilary Sears, Visiting Fellow of Cranfield School of Management and author of the 2021 report, said: “Diversity in all its forms is increasingly on the agenda for forward-thinking businesses, and rightly so. As well as providing appropriate representation for an increasingly diverse workforce, it has been found that more diverse boards make better decisions.
“The challenge, though, is how in-demand diverse executives now are: where to find them, how to recruit them, how to retain them? Through this year’s Female FTSE Board Report and Women to Watch list, we hope to accelerate companies on their journey to better representation and a truly inclusive workplace.”
The Female FTSE Board Report 2021: Inclusion works for everyone
Cranfield University’s Female FTSE Board Report, launched [7 October], reveals that, whilst the number of women on FTSE 100 and 250 boards continues to rise, there remains considerable variance between companies, with the overall figures boosted by the efforts of several leading firms.
Women continue to attain less senior board positions and serve for less time than their male peers, prompting renewed questions about how businesses can draw through their top female talent.
This year’s report spotlights the role of the Chair in the future appointment and development of female NEDs, and in the appointment of the CEO and the executive team, and provides a separate list of potential women Chairs for consideration by FTSE 100 boards. At present, only 14% of Chair roles across the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 are held by women.