Harvey Nash and HKU launch programme to boost gender balance on boards

February 8, 2016

Fifth annual Women’s Directorship Programme will include six modules over two three-day sessions in May and September 2016
Hong Kong, 02 March 2016 – With Asia positioned as the growth engine of the world’s economy, Harvey Nash, the global executive search and leadership consulting firm, and The University of Hong Kong Business School (HKU) have again joined forces to unlock the full potential of female talent in the top tier of the region’s workforce.
Covering two three-day sessions in May and September, this will be the fifth time the Women’s Directorship Programme – which is supported by senior business leaders and a distinguished alumni programme – has taken place.
Despite modest improvements in the numbers of women on corporate boards, closing the boardroom gender gap is still a distant goal, likely to take decades at the current pace of change.
Initiatives like the Women’s Directorship Programme can accelerate the process by helping women to demonstrate their readiness for senior roles and ensuring they are visible. For example, thirty percent of the programme’s alumni have since gained their first boardroom position, serving to make a lasting impact on the worldwide business community.
The Women’s Directorship Programme was created 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 real life case studies and practical insights 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.
Donald Brydon, Chairman of the London Stock Exchange and Sage Group, guest speaker on the Women’s Directorship Programme, said: “Diversity of thought is an essential component of board governance, yet boardroom evolution continues to move at only a glacial pace. We all need to take responsibility for driving change.”
“The Women’s Directorship Programme is a vital tool in producing a pipeline of exceptional women ready to take on the challenge of a board role, bringing together academia and practitioners to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences. Directors need to be fully prepared for the issues they will face before they step into the boardroom, therefore best practice board governance training is essential.”
The 2016 Women’s Directorship Programme includes six modules, taught over two three-day sessions (May 26-28 and September 22-24, 2016): 
  • Roles and responsibilities of Board and Committee Members
  • Persuasive Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Strategic Leadership and Networks
  • Securities Market Regulation
  • Ethics and Compliance
Board Simulation exercise – led by Donald Brydon, Chairman of the LSE and Sage Group
Albert Ellis, CEO, Harvey Nash Group said: “The Women’s Directorship Programme in partnership with The University of Hong Kong, demonstrates Harvey Nash’s commitment to developing the global female talent pipeline. By empowering female leaders to gain the confidence and skills needed to secure board positions and elevating their visibility to a global level, we can create lasting change across the world.”
Professor Larry Qiu, Director of Executive Education, HKU Business School, said: “The Women’s Directorship Programme serves as the benchmark for best practice board governance standards by offering unique access to the boardroom insights and experiences of world business leaders, thanks to their involvement as guest speakers. The programme enables participants to develop board communication and management skills, and benefit from peer-to-peer learning from high achieving women across different business sectors and cultures.”
Please visit www.wdpglobal.com for more information.
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 over 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. 

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
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