Inspirational Women In Business

I still firmly believe that business is unfortunately still a mans world, you only have to too peek into the board rooms of the top 100 companies to prove this. Which is absolutely nuts, as it means we are wasting a huge resource that is simply sitting there waiting to be unleashed.

The argument for not having more women in business has been made redundant by the examples of what happens when women have no barriers to entry or when they simply chose to ignore those barriers.

I heard this week that when a high flyer was promoted to the board of Sainsbury’s supermarkets they were surprised to find it comprised of all men. Even I know that women make over 85% of the purchases. So not having at least an equal amount of women in the boardroom and in leadership positions is crazy.

I’ve checked the make of up of the board and leading leadership roles at Sainsbury’s and they now have it down to about 80% men. I don’t want to single the one company out for this as I think it’s probably like this in most corporate boardrooms.

Also when I look at my own industry it’s crammed full of hairy blokes. The females that are in the business are brilliant, I haven’t met one who doesn’t impress. I know the arguments, that women aren’t mathematical or analytical, blah blah blah. Which is quite frankly bullshit.

Did you know that the first algorithm designed to be processed by a machine was created by an English women, a Countess no less and daughter of the poet Lord Bryon. That the first computer program was created by the same women, whose main squeeze at the time was a guy called Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first computer is kinda cool.

First computer programmer

The first computer programmer

It could be argued that it’s a cultural thing, that men find it easier to work with their own kind. This may be true, but it doesn’t make for a better, more efficient and profitable business. It’s inefficient to leave such a resource under utilised. Any nation or culture who penalises 50% of their population is going to be at a disadvantage.

As most of the SEO industry is male, this post might not be received well, it’s interesting that in the social media world the balance is more representative of the population as a whole. Don’t ask me why this is as I really don’t have an answer.

Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook

Sahar Hashemi, who co-founded Coffee Rebublic

Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital

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Comments

  1. Mal says

    At the risk of being seen as ‘Lyndo-baiting’ (which I’m not), I’m surprised you didn’t name Ada Lovelace as the person who wrote Babbage’s first algo. That said, top marks for reminding us that women still often don’t get the opportunities they merit. It’s getting better and more into balance, but it’s not done yet.

  2. Lyndon Antcliff says

    Your right I didn’t, instead I put a picture of Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace in the post instead and mentioned her parentage and her title. I thought it more interesting not to mention her name.

  3. says

    Thanks for the great post, Lyndon. I don’t understand where the junk about “women not suited to technology” is coming from. I’ve been in the software industry since 1981 and haven’t seen a whiff of that attitude in the field. I suspect it’s a media assumption. Unfortunately, it has trickled down to girls who no longer consider IT an interesting career.

    (Of course the whole industry is struggling to get youth interested. We’ve crossed over from “crazy cool industry” to part of the infrastructure. I guess we can say it sucks to grow up.)

    One last thing, you forgot to mention Grace Hopper who was on the team that invented COBOL. She was a terrific pioneering IT chic.

  4. epa dave says

    Lyndon , you only have to watch Lord Sugars “the apprentice” to realise why more women dont make it !!!!!!! LOL