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100 Women to Watch in 2018

This year’s 100 Women to Watch list has been released. But what is it and who is on it?

The annual list was first introduced by Cranfield University’s School of Management in 2009, and aims to showcase the wide range of female professionals available for and ideally suited to positions as non-executive directors on the boards of FTSE 350 companies.

This year’s report highlights the successes of three women from the 2017 list and five from the 2016 list who have gained a FTSE 350 board position since the last report.

Dr Patricia Pryce, visiting fellow at Cranfield University and director of Beauwest Consultancy Ltd, is one of the authors of the report. She said: “2018 is a significant year for women in the UK. It marks 100 years since women aged over 30 gained the right to vote, the unveiling of the first statue of a woman in Parliament Square and the first time a royal princess will keep her position in line to the throne despite the arrival of a baby brother. It is also the year that women’s representation on the boards of FTSE 100 companies hits a new high of 29%.

“We know that talented women are increasingly ready to take up executive and board positions, but it is also clear that these women are not always visible to decision-makers who influence the shortlists for non-executive director positions in FTSE 350 companies. In this, our ninth annual report, we seek to continue to showcase the broad and deep pool of talented female professionals from which ‘UK plc’ could draw.”

The 100 Women to Watch report is produced in conjunction with Cranfield University’s Female FTSE Board Report, and sponsored by Aviva. Produced by Dr Pryce in collaboration with Jacey Graham, director of Brook Graham and also visiting fellow at Cranfield, it was first published in 2009.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive nor definitive, nor does it attempt to represent the best 100 women. The women it highlights are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, functions and backgrounds and include those with senior executive roles in FTSE 350 firms and other significant organisations such as large non-listed companies, major charities, professional services firms, educational institutions and the Civil Service. It does not include women who already hold a FTSE 350 non-executive director position and are likely to be well-known to the search community, nor those who are executive directors on the main board of a FTSE 100 company.

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