Female leaders get ready to tackle the boardroom gender imbalance

February 3, 2015

Harvey Nash and The University of Hong Kong Business School announce the 2015 instalment of board preparedness programme, to increase gender balance on boards.

Hong Kong, 3 March 2015 – Harvey Nash, the global executive search and leadership consulting firm and The University of Hong Kong Business School have announced the 2015 instalment of the Women’s Directorship Programme (WDP) to be held in Hong Kong in May and September. The international board preparedness programme, exclusively for women, was created in answer to the worldwide business community’s call to tackle the existing gender imbalance in boardrooms.

The importance of gender-balanced boardrooms is a much-debated issue – but with women representing less than 10% of board level positions internationally, progress has clearly stalled. The answer to encouraging gender balance lies in supporting women to demonstrate their readiness for senior roles, enhancing their visibility on a global scale and engaging influential male business leaders in the agenda.

Harvey Nash and HKU Business School created the certificated Women’s Directorship Programme in 2013, with the aim of enabling participants to become effective board members and serving to increase the supply of board-ready women executives across geographies and business sectors.

Led by esteemed faculty members of HKU Business School, the Women’s Directorship Programme offers a unique combination of lectures and academic leadership theories, plus practical insights and real life case studies to bring the subjects to life, delivered by international business leaders as guest speakers. The involvement of senior business leaders sets the programme apart, providing unprecedented levels of access to their boardroom insights and experiences. Guest speakers on the Women’s Directorship Programme include:

  • Anne Minto, INED of Shire and Tate & Lyle
  • Donald Brydon, Chairman of Sage Group and Royal Mail
  • Dr. Raymond Ch’ien, Chairman of Hang Seng Bank and MTR
  • Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO of Schneider Electric
  • Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Centrica and MasterCard

Donald Brydon, Chairman of Sage Group and Royal Mail, guest speaker on the Women’s Directorship Programme, said:

“In order to produce a pipeline of exceptional women for boards, we need to have more initiatives like the Women’s Directorship Programme, bringing together academia and practitioners to share their experiences and explain how behaviour in the boardroom is different to behaviour in the rest of your corporate life.”

Through the distinguished alumni programme the participants have access to on-going support, and benefit from a global network of peers and senior business leaders.

Kirti Lad, Director, Harvey Nash Executive Search Asia Pacific said:
“Through the Women’s Directorship Programme and our partnership with the University of Hong Kong we are committed to creating lasting change across the world, unlocking the talent pipeline and empowering female leaders to gain the confidence and skills needed to secure board positions.”

The 2015 programme includes six modules, taught over two three-day sessions (May 28-30 and September 10-12, 2015):

  • Roles of Board and Committee Members
  • Persuasive Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Securities Market Regulation
  • Full Board Simulation exercise – led by Donald Brydon, Chairman of the Royal Mail & Sage Group
  • Ethics and Compliance

Professor Larry Qiu, Director of Executive Education, HKU Business School, said:
“The Women’s Directorship Programme enables participants to develop board communication and management skills, gain access to senior business leaders and benefit from peer-to-peer learning from high achieving women across different business sectors and cultures. To date, we have seen some outstanding results from the participants through the increased visibility of the alumni.”

Please visit www.wdpglobal.com for more information.

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About the Women’s Directorship Programme:
Established in 2013, the Women’s Directorship Programme (WDP) is a joint venture between Harvey Nash and The University of Hong Kong, HKU Business School. The certificated programme is designed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to demonstrate they are ready for the responsibilities of the boardroom as a director or non-executive director. Participants from broad ranging markets and business sectors, including banking and finance, telecoms, insurance, communications and logistics, have taken part in the programme to date.

For more information, please visit www.wdpglobal.com

About Harvey Nash:
Established in 1988, Harvey Nash has supported many of the world’s leading organisations to recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive and technology driven world. With 4,000 professionals in more than 40 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia, the Group has the reach and resources of a global organisation, whilst fostering a culture of innovation and agility that empowers its people to respond to constantly changing client needs. We work with clients, both large and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: executive search, professional recruitment and outsourcing.

To learn more, please visit www.harveynash.com

Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/harveynashgroup

About Executive Education, HKU Business School:
Established in 1998 under the auspices of the HKU Business School of the University of Hong Kong, Executive Education specialises in providing Executive Programmes to executives of local, regional and international private and public organisations. HKU Business School is a leading institution for business and economics education and research in Asia offering top quality degree programmes and executive education programmes that serve the needs of the business sector and the community.

For more information, please visit: www.fbe.hku.hk.
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Media Relations contacts:

Sophie Gray

Director of Marketing and Communications, APAC

Harvey Nash
Office: +852 3199 6942 / Mobile: +852 6696 1141


Helen Wong

Faculty of Business and Economics

The University of Hong Kong

Office: +852 3917 4311 / Mobile: +852 6199 6988

E-mail: hgewong@hku.hk