30% Club activities in the US

It’s been a busy few weeks for the 30% Club!

Our US arm, which launched in April, continues to go from strength to strength. We hit both the East and West coasts of the US in 24 hours on 10th October. Starting in Washington DC, we held a breakfast, hosted by KPMG, alongside the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, with almost 100 guests from around the world drawn mainly from major global financial institutions, business leaders and public policy makers.

The focus of the event was on accelerating progress towards global gender diversity at all organisational levels. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England was our guest speaker, who said he starkly realised the need for change at the Bank of England when the first 21 senior people he met were all men. Undaunted by the Bank’s 320 years of tradition, Governor Carney set about taking steps to modernise the Bank as a workplace, embracing technology, setting clear targets and promoting gender diversity as something not just desirable but achievable.

Carney’s comments were echoed powerfully by Gail Kelly, the CEO of Australian bank Westpac, who gave some compelling statistics. 4 out of 9 members of Westpac’s board are women, as are 25% of their executive team and 44% of their senior management team. Furthermore, 60% of Westpac staff (both male and female) work flexibly. Westpac’s leadership from the top is not just flowing through into gender diversity throughout their business, but is resulting in gender intelligent, modern working.

Later that day, we held a round table in Silicon Valley. Hosted by Bloomberg and led by Shiza Shahid of the Malala Fund, we had 11 tech industry experts, investors and founders discussing not just how to foster diversity, but socialising the 30% Club approach to change on the West Coast. The tech world is a very exciting space with its own unique challenges, and hopefully this will be the first in a series of 30% Club round tables aimed at bringing real change to the tech industry.