A leading figure from the technology sector will be giving her insights into the national debate around gender equality at the University of Worcester Business School's annual lecture.
Mivy James, who holds a senior role with defence and security technology provider BAE Systems, will be exploring what she believes are the benefits, both in business and personally, to be gained from a more gender equal society.
The University of Worcester Business School Annual Lecture, which is open to all, takes place at the University of Worcester Arena on Thursday, May 31, at 6pm.
Co-hosted by the Institute of Directors, the audience will have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session after Ms James" presentation, followed by a chance to network with other local businesses.
Ms James is Head of Consulting for National Security and Defence, and Deputy Head of Global Consulting for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Her key role is in advising clients on large technical transformation programmes and she also has responsibility for more than 150 consultants within National Security and Defence.
Ms James is passionate about technology and committed to encouraging more women to follow her into a career in the IT profession, founding the gender balance network at BAE Systems.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the gender pay gap for all employees (full-time and part-time) has reduced from 19.3% in 2015 to 18.1% in 2016, down from 27.5% in 1997. However, there is still much progress to make.
At the Annual Lecture, Ms James will explain that many big companies often lack women in senior leadership positions and therefore miss out on that diversity of thought when it comes to setting strategy and direction.
This talk comes after last month saw many influential UK companies reporting on their own gender pay gap, which revealed the University of Worcester as the best performing university in England and the most genuinely equal when it comes to gender pay.
Tim Maxfield, Director of External Engagement at the University's Business School, said: "In a recent Chartered Management Institute report, it was noted that addressing gender inequality in the workplace could add £150 billion to the value of the British economy by 2025. I think we all see and hear examples of this inequality in our daily lives and it's great to have a role model in someone like Mivy who can make us all sit a bit uncomfortably with the status quo and commit ourselves to doing something positive to address this."
Joanne Hodgetts, Chair of the Institute of Directors Hereford and Worcestershire region, said: "Although significant progress has recently been made towards increasing the number of women on company boards in the UK more can be done. Women now account for about a quarter of board directors (27.7%) in the FTSE 100, compared with just 12.5% in 2011 whereas in the FTSE 350 there remain only 8 all-male boards, a notable reduction from 152 in 2014. I think there should now be a greater focus on women at the executive level, where the important operational and strategic decisions are made."
If you would like to attend, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Mivy James to book a place.