Dame Katherine Grainger to launch sixth year of the world’s largest gender diversity cross-company mentoring programme

One           Amazing venue:  The Barbican

Two           Dames speaking:  Dame Katherine Grainger and Dame Helena Morrissey

107            Leading organisations:  Committed to gender equality

2,500        Mentors and mentees:  About to embark on their mentoring journeys


The 30% Club and Women Ahead are launching its 2018 mentoring programme on 11th October at the Barbican.  The 30% Club’s Founder, Dame Helena Morrissey, will be joined by Britain’s most decorated female Olympian of all time, Dame Katherine Grainger. 

Dame Katherine, who is now Chair of UK Sport, will be sharing her experiences with programme participants from leading organisations such as HSBC, M&S, The London Stock Exchange Group, CISCO, Aviva and the Environment Agency to name but a few. 

Dame Katherine says: “There’s a strong alignment between sport and business and both worlds can learn a great deal from each other.  I know from my lengthy career in sport that even with clear and ambitious goals, the journey is rarely simple and we all face set-backs. Nevertheless those challenges can be met with the right attitude, the right support and a desire to constantly assess and improve. That mindset is as important if you want to make it to the top of business as it is in making it to the Olympics.” 

Dames Helena and Katherine will be joined by the 30% Club’s Global Chair, Brenda Trenowden CBE, who was recently award a Queen’s Honours for her services to diversity; and, Liz Dimmock, Founder and CEO of Women Ahead, the social impact organisation who specialise in diversity and mentoring and run this programme on behalf of the 30% Club. 

Brenda Trenowden CBE says: “For the first time ever this month, the level of female representation finally hit 30% on FTSE100 boards.  That’s a welcome and important milestone but there is still much to do.  We’re focused now on securing 30% women across FTSE350 boards and, more importantly getting 30% women into senior leadership roles.  Mentoring is a proven, powerful and practical way for organisations to develop their female talent pipelines and I’m delighted to see the year-on-year growth of this programme and that so many leading organisations are recognising the value of mentoring to support the development of their future female talent.”

Journalists interested in attending the event - to see one of the world’s most powerful mentoring networks in action - or to interview Dame Katherine, Dame Helena, Brenda Trenowden CBE or Liz Dimmock on the day, should contact Alex Duff alex@moving-ahead.org 07506 146 147.

Notes to Editors

About the event

The launch takes place on Thursday 11th October at London’s Barbican between 17:30-21:00.  Speeches and panel from 18:00 with Dame Katherine’s keynote at 19:30.

About 30% Club

The 30% Club was founded by Dame Helena Morrissey in 2010 to enable greater representation of women on FTSE100 boards.  Whilst the Club’s remit has since broadened, the focus remains firmly on supporting more women into senior management and leadership roles within leading companies.  Brenda Trenowden CBE took over from Helena Morrissey as Global Chair of the 30% Club in 2015.  Dame Helena is Head of Personal Investing at Legal and General. Brenda Trenowden CBE is also Head of FIG Europe, ANZ. 

About Women Ahead

Women Ahead and Moving Ahead are sister social impact organisations working to increase all spheres of workplace diversity and inclusion.  The organisations believe diversity of thought, experience and teams lead to better performance.  With a focus on practical action, the organisations design and deliver programmes to bring about equality of opportunity.  Through mentoring, storytelling and research, the organisations are working to improve workplace diversity and inclusion.  Women Ahead is focused on bringing about gender equality and working with organisations to support more women into senior management and leadership roles.  Women Ahead runs the world’s largest cross-company mentoring scheme on behalf of the 30% Club.

Women Ahead teams up with Audi Australia

  • Audi Australia is the founding local partner to this mentoring programme – delivered by diversity, inclusion and mentoring experts, Women Ahead

  • The scheme is a pioneering cross-company, cross-sector program that will officially launch before the end of 2018

  • The scheme is the perfect fit for Audi’s #DriveProgress initiative, which strives to open up a more inclusive and diverse conversation with a wider audience

Women Ahead is pleased to announce its partnership with Audi Australia to launch a new cross-company mentoring scheme in Sydney. The collaboration aims to ‘balance the pyramid’ at all levels by facilitating and encouraging the development of strong female talent in some of the best organisations in Australia. The scheme, which is Women Ahead’s first in Australia, will match male and female leaders to mentor women from a cross-section of different organisations. 

The partnership forms part of Audi Australia’s #DriveProgress initiative. Supporting high-potential women from multiple organisations, including the Audi Australia team, the programme will support cross-company mentoring and provide guidance, tools and reflection, with the end goal of increasing the number of females in senior roles. Individuals will be empowered to explore outside the automotive industry and beyond their current environments to bolster their personal development and experience.

Audi Australia will be partnering with like-minded organisations to launch the scheme. Each organisation will be involved in a strategic selection of mentors and mentees and from there, the nine-month mentoring programme will continue with a series of learning and networking events. The scheme will kick off on the 29th November with a special showcase event, at Audi Australia HQ in Sydney. Organisations are invited to attend and should contact Monica@women-ahead.org to learn more about the programme or book their place.

Liz Dimmock, Founder and CEO at Women Ahead, said:

“Women Ahead is delighted to be partnering with Audi Australia and supporting their #DriveProgress campaign. The Women Ahead cross-company mentoring scheme provides a positive platform for organisations across all sectors to take practical action to create tangible change.”

Zena Boakes, Chief Human Resources Officer at Audi Australia, said: 

“Audi sees great value in our partnership with Women Ahead, to generate positive change in an industry which has traditionally been male-dominated.

“We see the enrichment of our team - with a growing number of women in senior roles - as a tremendous opportunity for the individuals involved, as well as for the future success of the Audi business in Australia.

“We also look forward to collaborating with other like-minded organisations through the Women Ahead programme.”

Background Information

About Women Ahead

Women Ahead is the social impact organisation seeking to bring about gender parity.  It is committed to working with organisations to support more women into senior management and leadership roles.  Women Ahead believes diversity of thought, experience and teams lead to better performance. Its focus is on practical action, designing and delivering programmes to bring about equality of opportunity.  Through mentoring, storytelling and research, Women Ahead is improving workplace diversity and inclusion.  Women Ahead is the sister organisation to Moving Ahead, who design and develop programmes for broader inclusion and diversity.  www.women-ahead.org

About Audi Australia

Earlier this year, Audi Australia launched the new #DriveProgress initiative, which aims to start a more inclusive conversation with the full spectrum of the Australian automotive audience. #DriveProgress is about cutting through the jargon to help all drivers understand how Audi designs technology to elevate and simplify their lives.

#DriveProgress is the start of a movement that will gather momentum in the coming months, expanding into all corners of Audi Australia: from HR diversity policies, to the way it does business and interacts with customers, to the activities supported by the Audi Foundation.

Media Enquiries to:

 Alex Duff, Communications Lead, Women Ahead and Moving Ahead, UK alex@moving-ahead.org

Shaun Cleary, Corporate Communications Manager, Audi Australia

shaun.cleary@audi.com.au | +61 478 493 389

Nicky Morgan MP gives high praise and recognition to the actuarial profession’s first cross-company mentoring scheme

The actuarial profession’s first cross-company mentoring programme has received high praise and recognition.  MP and Treasury Select Committee Chair, Nicky Morgan, wrote to the programme organisers to praise the scheme and wish everyone success for its second year. 

Female actuaries leave the profession 13 years earlier than their male counterparts.  That leads to a lack of diversity at senior levels, despite there being near parity of numbers between male and female junior actuaries.  The AMP cross-company mentoring programme’s mission is to help close that 13-year gap and redress the senior level gender imbalance. 

Nearly 100 people took part in last year’s inaugural programme, where female mentees are matched with a more senior male or female partner from another organisation.  The cross-company element is a critical aspect to the programme’s success.  It offers mentors and mentees a safe space to talk openly about the experiences and challenges they’re facing. Mentees benefit from a fresh perspective with their mentor bringing different skills, experience and expertise to the partnership.  And whilst mentors are giving, they also get to hear a completely different perspective from their mentee.  Cross-company mentoring is a proven, powerful and practical way to help develop female and male talent pipelines because everyone involved learns. 

The Actuarial Mentoring Programme (AMP)  is a partnership between diversity and mentoring experts, Moving Ahead and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.  It is sponsored by Pension Insurance Corporation. 

Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP and Chair of the Treasury Select Committee said: 

“Congratulations to everyone involved in AMP and good luck for year two. It is great to see so many senior champions advocating mentoring and diversity across the actuarial profession. We know there is still a lack of diversity at the top of the financial services sector, including the actuarial profession.  I am sure that AMP will play a key part in changing that.”

Tracy Blackwell, CEO of Pension Insurance Corporation said:

“This is a very exciting project with an important objective and I am delighted that we have been able to work with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Moving Ahead to bring it to fruition. We all recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce and, as an employer of actuaries, we at PIC want to provide support to women in the actuarial profession. Mentoring is proven to be effective at helping to realise potential, and this programme is a really positive sign for the future of the profession, and women in finance more generally.”

There’s still time for your organisation and colleagues to be involved in this year’s AMP programme, launching on 7th November.  The nine-month scheme costs organisations only £3,000 for up to five mentoring pairs (ten colleagues to participate). 

There are also 10 spaces reserved for actuaries working for smaller firms or seeking employment, there are 10 individual spaces reserved for you. 

You need to hurry as the sign-up deadline is looming:  Friday 28th September 2018.  For more information contact Tay@moving-ahead.org or click here to sign up  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AMPregistration

There’s a short film clip about the programme:  here

How do athletes make Plan B when they’re still in Zone A? We hear from former GB rower Monica Relph and Olympic swimmer Lizzie Simmonds.

How do athletes make Plan B when they’re still in Zone A? We hear from former GB rower Monica Relph and Olympic swimmer Lizzie Simmonds.

Athletes know their time in sport will naturally be limited – by health, wealth, and selection battles, but the end date is not always predictable. It’s essential to have a Plan B brewing while you are still deeply committed to your sport.

Here Monica Relph, former GB rower and development expert at Moving Ahead shares her top tips for creating your Plan B.



A progressive new diversity and inclusion (D&I) programme that broadens the scope of initiatives to include thinking style and personality type as well as gender, ethnicity and sexuality, is being launched next week.Mission INCLUDE, founded by diversity and development experts Moving Ahead, and global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, brings CEOs and senior executives together to take action to create truly inclusive behaviours and cultures by focusing on the individual talent, not the ‘label’ they sit under.

Pioneering female actuary mentoring scheme launched with support from significant industry names

A mentoring scheme for female actuaries, being officially launched at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (“IFoA”) on 6 November 2017, has received support from some of the biggest employers of actuaries in the country. The employers that have committed to Project AMP, alongside sponsors Pension Insurance Corporation (“PIC”), are: the Prudential Regulatory Authority, Aviva, Phoenix Group, Mercer, Lane Clark & Peacock, Barnett Waddingham, Xafinity, and the Government Actuary’s Department. 

Project AMP is designed to improve diversity at senior levels of the actuarial profession by helping to stem the worrying level of females leaving the profession much earlier than their male counterparts.

High potential women in career 'danger zone' to be mentored in rapidly growing scheme

High potential women in career 'danger zone' to be mentored in rapidly growing scheme

High potential women in the ‘danger zone’ of their careers will be mentored by senior male and female leaders in the UK’s fastest-growing cross-company mentoring programme, designed to attract and retain women into leadership and Board roles.

The massive recent growth of the 30% Club cross company mentoring programme, designed and delivered by purpose-led diversity and development experts Women Ahead, reflects the recognition of and need for mentoring schemes to balance the gender divide in senior leadership in UK organisations. Today there are 27% women on FTSE-100 boards. 

New UK research: Mentoring is improving gender balance in organisations

New UK research: Mentoring is improving gender balance in organisations

Turning the gender diversity dial, in collaboration with and sponsored by Deloitte, which encompassed more than 6,000 people across 40 major UK organisations, shows that mentoring is creating better gender diversity in the workplace, and enabling organisational cultures to become more inclusive and creative as a result. More than 3,000 years on from the Greek mythological origin of mentoring, it is being used to overcome present-day challenges of the gender pay gap, leadership equality, and the conscious and unconscious biases that exist around gender.
The Moving Ahead research found that structured, formal gender-based mentoring programmes are creating better gender diversity in the workplace by significantly growing women’s confidence, enabling a more inclusive culture and organization, creating positive change beyond the programme, providing the skills and frameworks for more empathetic, accessible leaders and driving best practice for broader mentoring schemes in organisations.

Engage boys and men to empower girls and women says world's leading male feminist

Engage boys and men to empower girls and women says world's leading male feminist

“We cannot fully empower girls and women unless we engage boys and men” – that’s the advice from Dr Michael Kimmel, the ‘world’s most prominent male feminist’ to female business leaders at a 30% Club and Women Ahead celebration event last week.

Hundreds of 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme participants met at The Mermaid Centre in London on Wednesday 21 June, to celebrate the close of the largest mentoring scheme of its kind in the UK, and to find out the winners of the inaugural #inspiredbymentoring awards.

Dame Helena Morrissey DBE, who was recently made a Dame in the Queen’s birthday honours,  thanked participants on the 30% Club scheme, and the Women Ahead team who mange and deliver this scheme for the 30% Club. She said the scheme is one of her proudest 30% Club achievements.

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE supports Moving Ahead’s Athlete-to-Business mentoring scheme at London Stock Exchange Group Market Open ceremony

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE supports Moving Ahead’s Athlete-to-Business mentoring scheme at London Stock Exchange Group Market Open ceremony

Sport and business united today when Moving Ahead’s, CEO Liz Dimmock was invited to officially open the market at the London Stock Exchange with Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE.

The Market Open ceremony was a chance for mentors on Moving Ahead’s life-changing Athlete-to-Business mentoring scheme to hear from business and sports leaders including Tim Jones, Group Head of HR at London Stock Exchange Group, multiple Paralympic wheelchair racing champion Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE and Pam Relph MBE, double Paralympic rowing champion.

Mentoring can change lives and improve business - 30% Club scheme members tell us how

Mentoring can change lives and improve business - 30% Club scheme members tell us how

The largest cross-company mentoring scheme in the UK invited organisations and individuals to a special launch event last week.

The hugely successful 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme, managed by specialist diversity mentoring experts at Women Ahead, is about to launch its fifth year. The scheme, which matches male and female senior leaders with high potential female mentees from different organisations, has grown from eight participating organisations four years ago, to more than 60 this year and 1,250 mentors and mentees.

We heard excellent feedback on the 30% Club and Women Ahead cross-company mentoring scheme, 2016-17:

“Mentees have tremendous determination and the ability to change the world.  Sometimes they just don’t realise this and so mentors help them to realise that potential.” 

Avril Martingale, Partner, Freshfields


"Everybody talks about culture, but we didn’t really know what that meant for us.  When we looked more closely at our culture, we realised it was very much built around how we do things whereas we needed it to be more about why we do things.  So we have spent time looking at our purpose and really understanding why we exist and the reasons for doing what we do." 

Tracy Blackwell, CEO, Pension Insurance Corporation


“We noticed that at a certain level there was a significant drop in the number of women staying in our organisation.  Mentoring has given an opportunity to help our women see where the possibilities for development exist and what they could achieve if they stayed.”

Simone Vroegop, Head of Consultant Relations EMEA, State Street


“In the mentoring process, the knowledge, learning and insight I am gathering is so incredibly powerful.  Understanding how my mentees juggle their lives is humbling.” 

Dominic Broom, Global Head of Trade Business Development, BNY Mellon


“My goal was to look at building new processes within our organisation.  My mentor clearly had the answers to my issues, but he never just gave them to me.  He made me think about how I could find my own solutions using what I already know.”

Tara Burns, Divisional Director, Man Bites Dog



A first-of-its kind mentoring scheme to accelerate the development of women working in tennis came to a successful close last week, with mentees and mentors saying the experience had been transformational.

The 30% Club sport and business mentoring scheme, managed by Women Ahead, carefully matched senior leaders at Ricoh with female leaders at the Lawn Tennis Association. This is the only mentoring programme in the UK which gives people working in sport the opportunity to be mentored by a top tier executive from the business world. 

Business leaders race to mentor and recruit elite athletes

Business leaders race to mentor and recruit elite athletes

A pioneering Athlete to Business mentoring scheme was announced at the launch event of a first-of-its kind Athlete Network today.


More than 100 athletes and business leaders met at Moving Ahead’s Athlete Network and the A2B (Athlete to Business) mentoring programme launch at the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday 14 March with the help of ‘tiger tamer’ Jim Lawless, international rugby star and Moving Ahead facilitator Maggie Alphonsi, English Institute of Sport (EIS) National Director Nigel Walker, and a host of elite athletes and top tier business leaders.