Jacey Graham co-authored, with Peninah Thomson and Tom Lloyd, 'A Woman's Place is in the Boardroom', published by Palgrave Macmillan.
A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom

“This is a book born out of extensive research among those with leadership responsibilities in today's boardrooms. It fills an obvious gap in modern business literature. It should be a very valuable read for all women aspiring to take their place in the boardroom as well as being a valuable source of insight for all directors and chairmen who want to create success through diversity”

– Sir John Parker, Chairman, National Grid

We’re delighted to announce the follow up to “A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom” with “A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom: the Roadmap”. Whilst in the first book the authors described the problem, gave comprehensive views of how it looked from both sides, and presented the arguments for positive change, this second book is all about the ‘how to’. It develops the arguments and analysis of the first book, introduces eight practical steps that women can take to become successful candidates for board level positions, and also explains what organizations can do to achieve change in the boardroom. Please click on the button below to download our brochure and order form:

A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom: the Roadmap

Review of ‘A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom: the Roadmap’ by Anna Allan, FCIPD, director HalsAllan Ltd. (This review was featured in People Management 24th July 2008)

"If you read only one book this year, make it this one. Whatever your role and gender I guarantee the ideas explored in only 120 pages of pragmatic text will bring rich rewards.

This book is a companion volume to one written in 2005 in which the authors documented a compelling case for increasing the number of women on FTSE boards. It is a response to repeated requests for a roadmap of how this might be done. As such, it is insightful, concise and very readable. The practical style ensures benefits for the reader, both personally and as a guide to taking corporate action.

While it is an acknowledged fact that women are raised differently from men, the implications for the way women tackle corporate careers often tend to be overlooked. Corporate boards are predominantly male and it is men who set the unwritten and unspoken rules of how to reach the boardroom. As might be expected, much of this book focuses on helping women to understand the rules so they can engage on a level playing field.

Less expected, but welcome, is the underlying message that once they know the rules, it’s not necessary for women to behave like men to succeed. Indeed, the authors assert it would be foolish to try, since this places women in a double bind where they cannot meet social expectations either way. The considered advice is to be authentic, something which is increasingly echoed in leadership literature. Of course, the converse is that male board directors must be open to valuing women’s authentic experiences and strengths, even where these differ markedly from those of men. I liked the non-judgmental tone, suggesting that, while male culture is often seen as the obstacle, men’s obstructions are rarely conscious. The key for both sexes is to challenge outmoded thinking.

Particularly heartening for ambitious HR professionals is the suggestion that boards re-evaluate the function as a potential source of candidates. HR is predominantly a female profession and this is likely to have considerable implications for the type of people likely to be attracted to the function in future. In the meantime, colleagues who read this book could find it life changing".

Meet the author clip:

The Female FTSE Board Report 2010: Opening Up the Appointments Process, International Centre for Women Leaders, Cranfield School of Management: Vinnicombe, Sealy, Graham and Doldor

Download 100 Women to watch report

Diva magazine

Lesley Brook’s article: ‘How to Break Through the Lesbian Glass Ceiling: 10 Tips to Help you Succeed’ has been featured in the UK’s Diva Magazine.

Whilst women have made progress in terms of their careers in recent years, the pace of change is still incredibly slow. For example, 53% of the UK's top 250 companies still have no women on their boards. And lesbians definitely face "double whammy" challenges in moving up the career ladder. In big firms today it's not usually a matter of overt discrimination but subtle, often unconscious, underlying bias. This creates invisible barriers which can make it tough for talented gay women to navigate their careers. And despite legislation and shifting attitudes, in many professional settings whether and how to come out remains a difficult and personal call The article sets out a number of practical steps that individuals can take to help overcome these barriers and give themselves the best chance of success.

Download the full article here

Out at work magazine

Lesley Brook was interviewed for ‘Out at Work’ magazine:
Diversity and Inclusion professional Lesley Brook explains how you could take up this worthy and interesting career.

Tell us about your background. I am currently a Director of Brook Graham Limited, a Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy firm I co-founded in 2004 with my business partner. Prior to that, I held a global HR Management and Diversity role in Shell International. Before that, I spent three years as HR General Manager for Shell South Africa, based in Cape Town, in the immediate post-apartheid era when there was such incredible change occurring.

Download the full article here

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