‘Women in Business’ is a phrase coined to the equality movement and marks a huge step-change in supporting female professionals around the world. Whether it’s Women in Finance, Women in Cyber or Women in Tech – it’s a term used to build a support network for professional women around the world and while it can be great, it’s not always used for good. Dominated historically by the loudest voices, ‘Women in Business’ can be found plastered across stages at conferences, trending daily on LinkedIn and dished up alongside lip-service to serve organisations wanting to appear as more inclusive and unfortunately it’s working.. or, at least it did. The overdone phrase is now met with public mistrust, frustration and even resentment mirroring the hijacking of the Feminism Movement that was once cheered and not ignored. We’re on a mission to change that. Change the way the phrase is used and perceived by restoring its original purpose and use it for good. Starting with the very women in our own network, we are using ‘Women in Business’ to engage, encourage, empower and inspire female professionals who have a voice but are being prevented from using it. Our Having a Voice at the Table event series brings together the UK’s leading women from different business disciplines, colour codes, backgrounds, skill-sets, strengths, weaknesses and opinions about womanhood and just about everything else. We don’t talk about inequality, diversity, talent attraction, ticking a box or discrimination – negative or positive discrimination. Essentially, we don’t discuss anything that ‘Women in Business’ events might often be associated with and instead bring powerful women together and encourage them to tell their stories. Be it balancing motherhood with leadership, finding your authentic self and staying true to it, finding ‘me time’ or finding a mentor, we discuss how to use our downfalls as women to become more successful and so far, it’s been brilliant. Over the course of two events we have heard from four exceptional women who shared their stories of leadership and womanhood. Xenia Walters, Group CFO of SDL opened our first ever Women in Business event. She spoke about the power balance in the Board Room and at home with her husband a successful executive and two children who see them both as equal, she also spoke about building a work ethic aged seven and using your weaknesses as strengths. She stressed the importance of an Executive Coach to help you stop and reflect and spoke of having it all, as a myth. Elona Mortimer-Zhika, CEO of IRIS Software Group joined Xenia at our first event and advocated the vitality of choosing meritocracy over positive discrimination, how it can often be lonely at the top and how as a leader who is also a mother, finding the balance between being great at work and great at home; and also great to herself, is a huge struggle. She also discussed how finding friends at the school gate was her saviour in balancing work and motherhood with ‘me time’. Our second event which took place just this week saw CFO of the Ambassador Theatre Group, ShanMae Teo, discuss climbing the ranks through a heavily male-dominated Private Equity industry and using her current position to promote equality not just for women but for men too – encouraging her male peers and reports to do the ‘admin’, go to the doctors appointments and the school pick-ups because while helping him to be a better father, you’re helping a woman on the other side of the fence who gets to stay at work a little longer. We also heard from Author and Executive Coach Joanna Kane who spoke about the wake-up call that changed her life. Working harder than anyone else, she believed to be a successful woman she needed to work tirelessly and became ill in the process – this she describes as the leading moment to the thing that changed her life, offered her a second career and gave her the inspiration to help other women move forward in their lives with more clarity, conviction and joy. These events not only allow women who may be silently struggling to ask for help and resonate with the powerful speeches delivered by these four exceptional women, it also offers them the chance to interact with a group of passionate women under Chatham House Rule – a safe space to discuss challenges they may also be facing, what holds them back and what they are committed to changing. Our interactive workshop allows these phenomenal women to truly self-reflect and ask themselves what is holding them back from an astounding year ahead and build a tool-kit to help them get there. Two events, 80 women and a whole lot of positivity is the start to reclaiming the term ‘Women in Business’ and I’m confident we are making a dent in the professional world – a dent that is sure to empower women in business everywhere.
14 Nov 2019
Have you thought about what would happen if your organisation was hit with a data breach tomorrow? Come along to our escape-room style event which will see you take part in a live hacking scenario. From the initial breach you will have to work out if a hack has even taken place, where the attack has hit and who is affected - you'll also have to deal with a simulated press conference, concerned customers on social media and your stakeholders asking questions you might not have the answers to. How would you react? We are hosting an exclusive event for exec-level, non technical professionals to come and learn about the world of Cyber in our new and exciting gamified event: How will you respond to a Data Breach? At Stanton House we understand that Cyber Security can be overwhelming and it’s not something we all understand. This simulation offers you a real-life insight into a Cyber Breach as it happens and teaches you how to respond. This event offers an insight into media training, £10,000 worth of consultancy and more importantly, the answers to take back to your board and an unrivalled opinion on a current hot topic. Get in touch with Ryan Surry for more information and to secure your place.
28 Aug 2019
The two events provide the perfect blend of work and play offering an immersive learning experience, unique working environment and a whole load of fun and if you’re not the type of person who puts Cyber and fun in the same sentence - I’ll stop you right here - but if you get it, you’ll love it. Vegas turns into a playground for adults and not just for it’s million-making dollar potential and all-nighters. From lock-picking villages to junior red-teaming competitions and socially engineering your way into parties, it’s a cyber paradise.For a week in August, you get the chance to submerge yourself into this gigantic pool of 30,000 people who walk your walk, talk your talk and care about the thing you’re most passionate about. Not only do these patrons of Cyber speak your language but when you rant on about AI, DevSecOps or the US election hacking, the conversation flows back. This will be my third year attending Black Hat and DEF CON and I can’t see my annual trip coming to an end anytime soon.Black Hat is a business hall filled with opportunity. Populated with telecoms conglomerates like CISCO or Verizon to super techy intelligent threat tools and gamified Cyber learning platforms. It’s a grown-up take to Cyber filled with tinfoil hats and hoodies while DEF CON offers up the chance to listen to Cyber’s most infamous gurus. I literally go, just to geek out. Both events offer a completely unique take to networking with pool parties, barbecues and hacking contests galore but the commercial and educational offerings provided are nothing short of exceptional.I’ve got a pretty hectic schedule of talks, meetings and well, ‘networking’ but if you’re in Vegas for either Black Hat or DEF CON, get in touch and we’ll socially engineer our way into some sort of party.
05 Aug 2019
Two days, two great venues, two world-class panels, two passionate groups of HR leaders, one inspirational purpose - to discuss how reverse-mentoring can promote diversity and inclusivity in your business. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the horizon and technological developments such as AI remaining misunderstood by the majority of the workforce, companies are already ramping up their intergenerational mentoring schemes but the two biggest questions remain; are organisations doing it effectively and why has reverse-mentoring become so focused on technology? We explored both of these questions at our Reverse-Mentoring event last week as we discussed how mentoring can break down internal barriers, diversify your talent pool and support your commercial objectives in the process. If you missed the event but would like a copy of our 28-page white paper download it here.
03 Dec 2018
Reverse-mentoring has been the topic of conversation at Stanton House over the last month and it’s a conversation we plan to continue into 2019. We recently produced a white paper focused on reverse-mentoring and its ability to improve diversity, retain millennial talent, broaden your demographic and even support your commercial objectives in the process. We spoke exclusively to thought-leaders, industry experts and the organisations who have mastered reverse-mentoring and presented their stories as case studies for you to take back into your organisations, as insightful reads but more importantly, evidence that the initiative works and that you should try it too.Then it was time to launch to our network and we decided two back-to-back events in Reading and London was the perfect opportunity to bring the white paper to life and see just how much of an impact one paper can have. Over two mornings, 80 HR professionals joined us from across Europe to listen to our esteemed panels who offered opinion, experience and practical advice of how to follow in their footsteps. Our spectacular panel was formed of Greg Young, CEO and founder of LeaderShape Global and VP of Balanced Leadership on the PWN Board; Ella Brown who is charged with reverse-mentoring the entire workforce of Microsoft UK, Laure Le Douarec, who created the reverse-mentoring scheme at BP 20 years ago who has since gone onto replicate the initiative at Nestle, Allianz and more; Adrian Edwards, Managing Partner of EMEIA at EY and his reverse-mentor, Sayeh Ghanbari, also a partner of EY. The panellists, led by David Garstang our Manager of Human Resources, explored the concept of the ideal mentor, how reverse-mentoring can improve racial, intergenerational, hierarchical and gender diversity, how it can help you develop as a leader and pragmatically, how to go about implementing a scheme of your own. The debates had everyone thinking. Every single guest took notes and a copy of our white paper away to try and make an impact to their organisation and we can only look forward to being updated on the progress of these schemes. Download our white paper on Reverse-Mentoring
03 Dec 2018
This figure is always the pinnacle of debate in the cyber industry as contradictory statistics circulate on a daily basis but I have never seen it hit the 80% mark, let alone go over it. Deadly combo; attacks are becoming more sophisticated and are companies being ignorant to the challenges they face - ill-prepared to deal with the consequences? I visited the Cyber Security Summit and Expo last week and sat through two talks with software companies who combat cyber threats which can range from accidental issues such as phishing scams to a more malicious attack to purposefully detract information and use it. It was during a speech by Aruba that I heard that 84% of data breaches came from the inside. It was a thought-provoking talk as it opened my eyes to the sheer number of breaches which can happen either accidentally or; more worryingly, internally. This is the fifth event I have visiting in the last two months as I love learning about new technology and exploring the processes that my network are interested in implementing. It’s my role as a Consultant to learn about common issues in the market and provide insight to my network of cyber professionals to try and solve them. But, with this statistic at the forefront of my mind, it is evident that companies need to do more to implement processes and protocol for a potential security breach. I’m keen to hear more about what you currently have in place at your own organisations. What happens if someone receives an email that doesn’t quite look right? Do your team know how to respond? Please do get in touch and let us know how your organisation works to stop insider threats becoming data breaches.
03 Dec 2018
“Diversity is like standing so close to a picture that you can see the brushstrokes. I can get frustrated by the slowness of change but actually if you step back you can see the small but positive progress being made.” – Adrian Edwards, EY.Adrian Edwards was joined by Laure le Douarec and Sayeh Ghanbari this morning at the second of our Focus on Mentoring event series. The thought-leaders helped a room filled with HR professionals to understand reverse-mentoring as a diversity initiative, how it can transform a workplace and how you can get the top down sponsorship you need to make it work.If you would like a copy of our white paper, please follow the link below. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GBMT9XT Download our white paper on Reverse-Mentoring
30 Nov 2018
“We can’t keep saying the world around us is changing and carry on delivering HR in the same way.” This is one of my favourite quotes and how I chose to open my speech at the Surrey and North Hampshire CIPD event on Saturday. I was invited to deliver a workshop on the changing world of HR and wanted to emphasise to the audience of HR professionals that the world around us is changing which means we need to change our strategy. I asked the delegates to identify the current and future impact on their role and to contemplate how AI, technology and automation has a direct impact on their market. According to Forbes, just 45% of companies in the UK have started to implement basic automation in HR yet PwC claim 74% of the 10,000 employees they surveyed are ready to learn a new skill. For every company not willing to change there are hundreds if not thousands of employees getting ready to find another company who will. My message is clear, we can’t be scared of change, we need to embrace it if we are to survive in a changing world and retain the professionals needed to make it happen.
22 Nov 2018
We recently brought together a group of 20 CFOs, HRDs and Transformation Leaders and asked them this very question. Perhaps surprisingly, 73% believed that you could run a transformation successfully without being finance qualified but whilst deep finance process knowledge is critical to the success of the programme, this was not seen as important for the leader.Whilst picking the right ERP and having an effective Gantt chart are tools that help you succeed, if you really want to lead a successful transformation, we encourage you to shut down your spreadsheet and go and talk to your people. Be the face of the programme, engage the troops and show them the art of the possible.Do you need a finance qualification to run a Finance Transformation?
19 Nov 2018
We explored the questions surrounding finance transformation at the Gherkin on Thursday at the first of our Focus on Finance event series.CFOs, Finance Transformation Leaders and HR Directors joined forces over breakfast to discuss whether transformation requires a person with a finance qualification, if career diversity is more important than a niche specialism and how to drive change in the workplace.The morning was led by Ed Harding, a CXO, author and coach who has spent 12 years working an interim portfolio of COO, CEO and CFO positions. Ed has four pillars of experience which are finance, technology, business change and financial services and believes that career diversity is a vital attribute to any leader of finance transformation. Ed noted that despite starting out in the working world as a chartered accountant, he saw that as a passport to other things. Whilst a qualification is important, the ability to engage with the rest of the business has been critical to his success. A room filled with senior finance and HR professionals was naturally filled with debate, opinion and thought-provoking insight into industry but the key debates surrounded the definition of the term ‘lead’ and how you may not require a finance qualification to be a programme director but to lead a transformation, you just might.The audience also discussed what they termed, the ‘halo effect’ - how you must first get buy-in from the c-suite and watch it filter down and above all, avoid talking about finance during the change, cost or headcount reduction and instead speak about maximising efficiencies and freeing up the time of the business to upskill a team. It’s all about framing the idea and empowering your team.We will be taking the opinions and insight shared at our event and use it to create an exclusive white paper focused on finance transformation. If you would like a copy of this paper please get in touch. Request the white paper
05 Nov 2018
We had an incredibly insightful morning at The Gherkin as Ed Harding FCA joined our Focus on Finance Transformation event. Ed challenged the audience of CFOs and Finance Transformation Directors by suggesting that a transformation does not require a person with a finance qualification but rather someone with competencies. He also asked, what is more important in a finance professional; a niche specialism or career diversity? Download our white paper on Finance Transformation
01 Nov 2018
We are in the final stages of producing a white paper that investigates the ways in which you as a company can improve diversity at every level. By simply and strategically pairing together unlikely individuals, the white paper details how you can use mentoring as a tool to retain talent, diversify your talent pool and create an inclusive workplace culture – all while supporting your commercial objectives. Despite the paper not being published until early October, we have received a fantastic reception from our network with professionals across all sectors, informing us that they are eager to start their own programme or in fact, already have one underway. With so much enthusiasm around the white paper, we have decided to host an event later this year with a panel of thought-leaders, industry experts and the professionals who have founded their own successful reverse-mentoring programmes and together they will guide you on how to implement a scheme of your own. If you have taken part in a reverse-mentoring scheme or would like to find out more please do get in touch. Update: Download the completed white paper here
26 Sep 2018