Today, 8 March, is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The annual event has been marked for over a century, with the very first gathering taking place in 1911.

International Women’s Day 2022: break the bias

This year’s campaign theme is #breakthebias - encouraging everyone marking the occasion to commit to calling out bias, smashing stereotypes, breaking inequality, and rejecting discrimination.

As the IWD community says, "Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated."

FTSE Women Leaders Review report in discussion

As part of Benefex’s contribution to International Women’s Day, in partnership with our parent company, Zellis, we brought together Zellis Chief People Officer, Caroline Drake, Denise Wilson OBE, Chief Executive at FTSE Women Leaders Review, and Sarah Morris, Operating Partner at Bain Capital Private Equity, to discuss the FTSE Women Leaders Review report.

The report highlights progress across the FTSE 350 for women leaders and sets out recommendations for companies to improve the representation of women on boards and in leadership positions.

During the conversation, Denise Wilson OBE, Chief Executive at FTSE Women Leaders Review, highlighted the importance of a gender-equal future within business and just how much work there still is to do, “So long as we have an appointment rate of two out of every three available roles going to men, then progress is going to be slow. Much slower than it should be.”

Sarah Morris, Operating Partner at Bain Capital Private Equity, added her views, “It's a tipping point effect. And as more women are in these roles, other women are able to look around and look up and see them as role models and believe that it’s possible for them.”

“We need to change our perceptions of what a leader looks like. A leader doesn’t have to be 6ft 2, male, 42-inch chest and silver hair.”  

For more insights, expert opinions and recommendations, watch the full discussion below:

You can download the complete FTSE Women Leaders Review report here.