Bayes Global Women’s Leadership Programme celebrates its first five years

GWLP Executive Board Chairs past and present: Alison Maitland, Lynne Berry CBE and Alex SkailesIn June 2022, the Bayes Global Women’s Leadership Programme (GWLP) hosted a lunch to celebrate five years of the programme.

GWLP Director Janina Steinmetz welcomed scholars, leaders and friends of the programme, past and present, to mark the occasion with speeches from Andre Spicer (Dean of Bayes), Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer (the first Director of the Programme), Alison Maitland (former Chair of the Executive Board), Kiara Goodwin (MBA Scholar) and Carol Sergeant CBE (Council Chair).

Andre Spicer said that the programme had been an important agent for change at the School, with its work embodying the core values of Bayes – building a sense of community, rethinking our assumptions about how to do business and how we operate, and taking action. He thanked those involved with the programme for their ongoing part in bringing about change in relation to women’s leadership.

The programme is built around a vision to inspire, equip and connect women leaders and has hosted 27 events and awarded 35 scholarships since 2017. Guests at the lunch heard from Kiara Goodwin, who graduated with distinction, about her experience as a GWLP MBA scholar, “what an amazing journey it has been and I’m so grateful for it – it has helped me both personally and professionally. I have grown stronger, more confident, feel more sure of my experience, my executive presence, I have made an amazing network of friends and colleagues and lifelong friendships, and I’ve been able to prove my resilience”.

Alison Maitland and Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer drove the development of the programme, and both shared their reflections on its evolution– from hosting events, awarding scholarships and developing a network, GWLP grew in response to feedback from Bayes women to offer skills-based workshops and a brief to disseminate research.  The programme has had ambition, offered opportunities for scholars and developed its impact across the School and beyond.

Concluding the speeches Carol Sergeant CBE congratulated everyone on all the achievements of the first five years. Looking at the statistics of women leaders in FTSE 100 companies and beyond, she noted there is an enormous mountain to climb in terms of women’s leadership – the work is still essential and urgent, “we’ve got a long, long way to go yet before we have anything like the numbers of female representation we should have in true leadership roles”.