Monthly Archives: May 2011

Andrew Hill

Two things stood out from my recent video interview* with Laurence Parisot, head of Medef, the French employers’ federation: one frivolous, one deadly serious. The first was that Parisot said that, aged nine, she had hoped to be “number one” in water-skiing (and, less surprisingly, in business or politics). The second was her equation of misogyny with racism.

Liz Bolshaw

For all the jokes about “man flu”, a new study shows men take fewer days off sick than women. The average man, the research indicates, takes 140 sick days during his career, while a woman calls in sick 189 times.

Liz Bolshaw

It is MBA season, the time of year when graduates move back into the business world, hoping their hard work will propel them effortlessly to the top.

Liz Bolshaw

The FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme has had six years of pairing chairmen and chief executives of the UK’s largest companies with nominated senior women executives from other companies.

Liz Bolshaw

The Professional Boards Forum has launched “BoardWatch” to track progress against the targets set down in Lord Davies’ report into the number of women on FTSE 100 boards. Drawing on data provided by BoardEx, a business networking service, BoardWatch will report monthly figures.

In the first of these reports, 31 per cent of new directors appointed to the boards of the UK’s largest 100 listed companies since March 1 are women. This has inched up the total percentage of women directors to 13.4 per cent (from 12.5 per cent at end-2010) and reduced the number of “stag” or all-male boards to 14 from 21.

Liz Bolshaw

Earlier today I was interviewing Olivia Lum, founder and chief executive of Hyflux, a global water treatment and filtration company based in Singapore.

Getting to the top of any organisation has always required toughness and political skill. If you want to be the chief executive you must be ready to roll up your sleeves and fight it out.

Liz Bolshaw

This year, four female directors have films in contention for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival – four more than last year.

Andrew Hill

As companies strive to meet targets – and, in a few countries, mandatory quotas – for women on corporate boards, one of the hardest myths to dispel is the lack of supply.

Liz Bolshaw

“The power of progress is fundamental to human nature, but few managers understand it or know how to use it to boost motivation.”

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The 'Women at the Top' blog is part of a series of online and print publications that focuses on women's achievements in business. With up-to-date news and incisive analysis, the blog will provoke discussion on the role of the world's most prominent businesswomen. www.ft.com/womenblog

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About our bloggers

Liz Bolshaw

Liz Bolshaw is a business journalist and editor. She has been a successful book publisher, online editor, magazine editor and publisher.

She was launch editor of the Europe-wide online community Entrepreneur Country, has published magazines for PwC, 3i, dunhill and Bafta, and launched The Sharp Edge, a magazine for and about entrepreneurs, with Duncan Bannatyne. She is a regular contributor to Thomson Reuters’ Venture Capital Journal.

Her last project for the Financial Times was as editor of the paper’s Business Education magazine.

Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight is a freelance journalist based in Boston. She writes regularly for the FT on business education, entrepreneurship, and management.

Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill is an associate editor and the management editor of the FT. He was City editor of the FT and editor of the daily Lombard column on British business and finance from September 2006 to December 2010.

He was the FT’s financial editor from June 2005 to September 2006, with overall responsibility for coverage of companies and markets. Before becoming financial editor, he was the FT’s comment & analysis editor, in charge of the paper’s opinion and features pages.

From 1999 to 2003, he was the FT’s New York bureau chief. He joined the FT in 1988 and has also worked as foreign news editor, UK companies reporter and correspondent in Brussels and Milan.

Pino Bethencourt

Pino Bethencourt is a professor and leadership expert at IE Business School in Madrid. She is also an author and executive coach.

Lynda Gratton

Lynda Gratton is professor of management practice at London Business School.

Linda Tarr-Whelan

Linda Tarr-Whelan, former ambassador to the UN commission on the status of women, is a Demos distinguished senior fellow.