On Wednesday evening the Feminism Society had the pleasure of hosting the newest fellow of Eton College, Dame Helena Morrissey, to speak on why women’s progression is good for men.
Her talk concerned the battle for true diversity, which is mutated into not just diversity of personnel, but diversity in thought. It is often believed that the initial echo chamber of men in the room has perpetuated that battle, and thus the root of the problem which needs to be fixed. She also talked of the digital age that brought new opportunities and new possibilities for the next generation, changing the nature of power and demanding new ways of thinking.
Dame Helena’s 30% club was started in 2008 to help fight that battle. As a cross-business initiative aimed at achieving 30% women on UK corporate boards through voluntary, business-led change, she succeeded last year with the figure reaching 30.9% (almost a 4% increase form the previous year). When asked whether that number would keep increasing, or when would it start to stagnate, she hoped that 40% would be the next target, but referred to some business leaders with “diversity fatigue” that might want to keep it around that figure.
With questions stemming from the secretary (Ollie de Bono, JMO’B) to students at Windsor Girls School, an immensely informative Q&A followed her presentation. We would like to thank Dame Helena for taking the time out of her immensely packed schedule to present to the boys, given her timetable includes speaking at Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Her talk was thought-provoking and certainly opened the eyes of many young Etonians looking ahead to the world of work.