International Trade

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British female leaders dominate as David Cameron names new UKTI business ambassadors

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Seemingly the prime minister is looking to lead by example, as the gender gap around pay and board roles continues.

In July he called the gender pay gap a “scandal” as he revealed an agenda to “cast sunlight on discrepancies” and pressure companies into revealing what staff are being paid, so they’re on equal footing when it comes to earnings.

Elsewhere, 26 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions are now accounted for by women, which prompted former trade minister Lord Davies to increase the target to 33 per cent in October.

And with trade in mind, Cameron has appointed six business ambassadors to support the government when it comes to promoting British enterprise success in foreign markets, while four of the positions have been secured by female leaders.

Read more on the gender gap:

The six business ambassadors are:

  • Karen Blackett, CEO, MediaCom
  • Liv Garfield, CEO, Severn Trent
  • Paul Kahn, president, Airbus Group UK
  • Stephen Kelly, CEO, Sage
  • Emma Jones, founder, Enterprise Nation
  • Holly Tucker, founder, notonthehighstreet

It comes after Ultimo founder Michelle Mone was brought in to conduct an entrepreneurship review in the summer, while Cameron has also introduced other high-powered business women into the fold, including Karren Brady and Jo Malone.

In addition to supporting the government, the new batch of UKTI business ambassadors will also help UK companies make the most of international opportunities. Duties will include managing communications between politicians at home and abroad, meeting with international ministers, making dedicated visits overseas and leading SME events.

“It is excellent news that some of Britain’s best and brightest business minds will be working with us. Our new Business Ambassadors will bring a wealth of experience and expertise, helping us to unlock markets, grow our international trade and boost inward investment,” said Cameron.

“Showing the world that the UK is open for trade and investment is a key part of our plan to deliver economic security. Ambassadors of this calibre show we mean business.”

Concerned with issues surrounding gender diversity in business? Don’t miss the Real Business First Women programme:

Drawing on years of the First Women movement and the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created, this programme features The First Women Awards and The First Women Summit  designed to educate, mentor and inspire women in all levels of business.

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