CEO, Virgin Money
"International Women’s Day is a celebration, a moment when everyone should applaud the invaluable contributions that women make to society.
"But, in spite of the progress that has been made over the years, there are still barriers holding women back, especially within the workplace. Issues such as the lack of job security, flexible working or equal opportunities for promotion are hindering career development for women. In my own industry of financial services, the proportion of women climbing the ranks of senior management is lower than in any other sector, and I am currently leading a Government-commissioned study to find solutions to this problem. It is a big challenge, but one that I believe can be met through a fundamental cultural shift within businesses. Women must be as equally valued as men at every level of a business, from the shop and factory floor to the boardroom.
"This is why I am supporting The Pledge for Parity campaign, which is designed to accelerate the progress towards the goal of universal gender parity. A workforce where men and women enjoy equality of rights, pay and opportunity is not just a good thing in its own right; it is good for business, good for the economy and good for society."