Women in Web Weekly Round-up


It’s the weekend, so why not take some time out to catch up on our features this week.

We featured a Q&A with Jean Martin Executive Director of CEB’s HR Practice

We also wanted to remind you not to miss Careercake’s event on 14 June.  Read more here!

This week’s Thursday’s question was:  Do you have job interview coming up? Preparing some well researched questions for the panel can potentially tip the job in your favour. Anyone had experience of this recently? Let us know.

Other intersting articles that caught our attention this week include:

Britain needs more risk takers, says Annoushka Ducas

Harriet Green, the Thomas Cook CEO has boosted share prices by 950% and turned around a failing company.

Women in Business: Jean Martin, CEB

Jean Martin

Jean Martin

Jean Martin’s infectious enthusiasm coupled with her deep knowledge of human resources lead Chief Human Resources Officers at some of the world’s top organizations to look to her and CEB for guidance on the critical problems keeping them up at night.
As executive director of CEB’s HR Practice, Jean directs the research, business practices, and operations and together with the leadership team, sets the strategic direction for CEB’s HR research. Her areas of expertise span the HR spectrum and range from the future of the HR function to leadership to labor market trends. Specifically, Jean spends time working on issues relating to employee engagement, how companies can attract and keep the best employees, and how companies can seek out top talent globally and build out their global leadership bench.

Jean is often asked to share her knowledge in larger forums and has spoken at venues such as the Gathering of Leaders, Wharton Women in Business Conference and the European Union. Jean also regularly presents to executive teams including Bombardier, Intel, Cisco, BBVA and Eskrom among others. In addition, her work has appeared in publications such as the Associated Press, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and Human Resources Executive Magazine.

Prior to CEB, Jean served as a special assistant to President Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council. Additionally, Jean was a Presidential Management Fellow serving as a Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President for small business/community development banking at Bank of America. Also during her time as a PMF she was project manager for microfinance and microenterprise development at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Jean received a Masters of Public Policy with a concentration in Economics and Finance from the Kennedy School at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts with highest distinction from the University of Virginia.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

Growing up as the daughter of a social worker and a teacher, I learned very early that leading successfully requires leading through the success of others. My leadership approach focuses heavily on inspiring and supporting talented people and then getting out of the way. By not “helicoptering” I have seen talented people rise to new heights and it ties up more time for my own creative contributions – the things that only I can do for the business. Working for former President Bill Clinton I learned similarly that if you give people full information about the context for the work and the goal you are trying to achieve, they will use their own smarts and initiative to get to better solutions than those you could engineer. Whether they be welfare program administrators or hospital workers or prison guards, when each person knew what we as leaders wanted to do, communities carried the ball further toward the finish line. In my career at CEB, I’ve learned to plant the flag of achievement on the most aggressive targets possible – as one of our executives put it, if you, as a leader, don’t frame real truly aggressive goals for yourself, everyone working for you will be less aggressive, causing the organization’s real potential to be undergunned. Key as a leader is to inspire, empower and direct, and-only if absolutely needed, dive in.

How have your previous employment experiences aided your position at CEB?

My previous work in consulting, government and non-profits has assisted me in several ways:

1)    Previous employment has provided me with an ability to work across boundaries with many different types of people with differing priorities – being “multi-lingual” in this way is crucial in serving the thousands of organizations we serve at CEB;

2)    My prior work has allowed me to hone an analytic and operations skillset that means I can get quickly to the root-cause of problems and identify the underlying issues and work quickly and efficiently resolve them; and

3)    My work has always revolved around persuading and influencing extremely senior executives whether they be heads of companies or Heads of State – therefore, excellence in articulating ideas, building business cases and communications is something I have focused on throughout my career and has been a key to my success.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at CEB?

Highlights during my time as an executive director at CEB include:

1) Publishing groundbreaking studies in the areas of performance management, leadership development, succession management and employee engagement;

2) Growing our offices from to two to 12 globally;

3) Contributing to the launch of our services for small and medium-sized enterprises – now one of our fastest-growing businesses; and

4) Witnessing many of my staff rise up into other senior roles within the company.

Challenges have included creating new information platforms for regions like Asia, Latin America and the Middle East where cultures and histories make management very unique, and growing our sales and service capabilities to now include more hands-on application of tools and knowledge. Both efforts were highly rewarding in the end, but required fundamentally rethinking how we do business.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

For both men and women, I believe that work/life balance emerges first from having a strong definition and understanding of the values one plans to live by – for each person, these values and priorities can be different, but knowing and defining for yourself the full life you want to live and then living it is key to being truly successful. Knowing that family is a top value for me, I prioritize separating my time with my husband and three young children from my work time. Office work ends at 6:00 p.m. and dinner and bedtime are “no work” zones during which all calls and emails are deferred. When I am on the road, I FaceTime with the kids every day or show them pictures of where I am when I am traveling – they like seeing the sites through the photos I send and hearing my stories about what I am eating or doing and what the weather is where I am. During periods where travel and work is heavy, I try to make sure to reserve special time with each of my kids, my husband and my extended family where we can do things for just us and make sure that I am investing deeply in my relationships with the people closest to me. I think of it as “making deposits in a bank” ensuring that the balance of my time stays high enough even when work forces me to “make withdrawals” against my time with them. As with most working parents, for me caring for my family and myself means every day is its own journey and there is no magic formula. That said, how I spend each hour is a choice and I try to be extremely mindful of each choice I make since, with a family, the tradeoffs are high. I have found that being a working parent is the greatest management challenge I have ever faced and I have learned the most from it as a result.

What research has CEB been recently working on?

CEB is focusing on several topics of great interest to the C-suite and business leaders:

1)    How to accurately identify and engage high-potential employees and how to drive high levels of employee performance – this work leverages insights from neuroscience and organizational design to understand what are the most effective innovations in driving employee productivity;

2)    Building leaders in New Work Environment – given the way in which work has become more dispersed, virtual, horizontal, this work studies how leaders need to behave differently to be effective; and

3)    The Future of the Corporate Functions – given our privileged position managing the largest networks of C-suite executives, we have been able to study the continuum of practice within each function and map the overall direction we believe Finance, IT, HR, Marketing, Sales and other functions will take in the coming decade.

 What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?

The biggest issue for women in the workplace today is the fact that many workplaces and many jobs – especially senior jobs are not designed in a way that is attractive to women. A recent CEB study showed no difference in women’s abilities to handle senior roles, there were dramatic differences in whether women wanted these roles, with as many as 30 percent saying they did not aspire to the roles of senior executives above them. Part of this is the work-life balance question and the fact that many of the senior roles are not dual-career or family friendly. Also interesting was the study’s conclusion that women prefer more collaborative and constructive work environments and that their perception is that many senior positions exist within senior teams that do not support constructive collaboration. Because these senior roles are the stepping stones to Board positions, we will not solve for the dearth of women on Boards until we make senior leadership roles in corporations more appealing to women. Until more women are in senior roles and can contribute to changing these roles to make them more attractive to a broad group of candidates, we will struggle to attract women to top jobs.

What are your thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In book and movement?

I am appreciative that Sheryl has raised women’s issues again and energized the discussion around women in the workplace – she has ensured women and men of all generations are reflecting deeply on the progress of gender integration in the workplace. In particular, her book is a terrific rallying cry for the soon-to-graduate cohort of women who will benefit from setting the highest possible aspiration for their careers and as Sandberg suggests, “going for it.” Her “Ban Bossy” campaign is vital to keep attention on places where double standards may exist for the acceptable behaviors of boys and girls. My argument with the book is only that I think the answer of “Lean In” oversimplifies the reality of the profession-life challenge women face. Those of us who have been in the workforce for decades know that in most organizations it is never just a question of leaning out or leaning in, but rather a subtle mix of activities and attitudes that may vary day to day or even hour to hour. We may lean in at a CEO/ Board presentation in the morning – only to lean out in the afternoon at a child’s doctor appointment or school event. We may have weeks or even years where the focus needs to be on an aging parent or a soon-to-graduate teen and work hours must taper, followed by years when the balance is such that a full-throttle lean in is possible and desirable. The other critical side of the Lean In need is also the need of organizations and societies to “Lean In” to meet women (and men) half way as they seek to support complex, multi-dimensional values-driven lives. The smartest companies are realizing that when they design programs and careers in a way that dedicates this kind of flexibility and lifetime commitment to top performers, they can attract and motivate a very different level of talent and keep that talent contributing longer to their mission. Yes, women need to lean in, but organizations and societies are also responsible for creating environments that allow men and women the resources to “go for it” at work even as they make positive contributions outside of work. I do not believe an employee’s outside life should be thought of as “Leaning Out,” but rather as living a full life and in a way that can often amplify their capabilities at work.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

Mentoring has been essential to me in my professional and personal life. Mentoring relationship perhaps because they are driven by more personal, less structured interactions have contributed more to my learning than any other experience. My mentors have been and are men and women, professors and business leaders, experts and friends. Borrowing an approach created at GE, I have recruited and maintain a “Personal Board of Directors” that meets with me off-line to help me guide my investments in myself and in my career. This diverse group has been invaluable at challenging my thinking and pushing me to the question of “Why not you? Why can’t you accomplish your wildest dreams?” Their real-world experience has also helped me with innumerable lessons in work-life balance, creative problem solving, team management and persuasive skills. All of the key transitions in my career were driven by mentors who saw an opportunity and encouraged me to reach for it. In my view, there is nothing more important, regardless of one’s profession or aspiration, than cultivating a terrific set of mentors to serve as guides through work and life. Notably, for rising female leaders, I do not think these mentors need to be women.

Instead most important is that they are people with networks and experience that extend beyond your own in the fields that you care about and that they have an energetic and long-term commitment to you and your advancement.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

I admire Hillary Clinton for her willingness to really do the work to master a subject and maintain an exceptionally high bar for the quality of her own and her teams’ work. I admire Christine Lagarde of the IMF for her superb yet subtle ability to frame a national or international agenda. Finally, Melinda Gates is an inspiration for the way in which she quietly reframes countless health, development and education challenges by asking simply “What works in addressing this problem and how can we rapidly scale that solution?” In general, I admire women who ask those fresh, tough questions that go furthest to advancing dialogue and understanding and then have the operational skills and discipline to inspire teams and organizations to deliver a fresh approach

What are your hopes for the future of CEB?

CEB has an exciting future ahead. We are committed to unlocking and progressing the science and practice of management and my team specifically is focused on unlocking and progressing the science of talent management. This is particularly significant in that the dramatic changes in the work environment mean that many of the talent management solutions that worked a decade ago are no longer effective. At the same time, the market of providers – largely consultants and technology firms – has not kept pace with advances in employee behavior and organizational management. CEB sees a better way forward against the challenge of talent management and is assembling a suite of services grounded in the principles of economics and organizational behavior. We are committed to ensuring that every organization does not just have effective talent management, but rather the right talent management for its specific objectives. We are beginning to see breakthrough results from this business-specific approach and look forward to taking that to all of our operating regions and the thousands of organizations we serve. We continue to be energized by the mission of improving executives’ ability to harness both their personal and their organizations’ full potential during these challenging times.

Don’t miss the Careercake live event on June 14th!

Aimee Bateman

Aimee Bateman

Need to polish up your CV or want tips on how to perform brilliantly in an interview? Don’t miss the first Careercake live event taking place on June 14th!

This half day career workshop will take place at the University of South Wales Atrium Building in Cardiff, and you’ll get the chance to hear and learn from Careercake’s founder, Aimee Bateman. The event will cover the topics of CV and cover letter success, using social media to job hunt and build relationships, and an interview masterclass.

Tickets cost £50 but you can score a discounted ticket using the code ‘CCTVlive14’ at checkout. For more information on the event and to book your place click here.

Also make sure you read our exclusive Q&A with Aimee!

Women in Web Weekly Round-up


The weekend is upon us! So we have pulled together what’s been featured on Women in Web this week. We hope you enjoy our features and we really welcome your comments on our features.


Diane Smith, co-organizer of the first Know Your Value conference that took place in Hartford, CT last week shares her reflections on the event in this exclusive post for Women In Web. Read Diane’s conference reflections


The first Q&A this week was with Aimee Bateman, founder of Careercake.com. Aimee has held senior positions with some of the largest recruitment companies, helped thousands of people achieve their career goals and sourced talent for global corporations as well as smaller entrepreneurial businesses. Read more about her journey here.


Our second Q&A this week was with Julie-Ann Haines, Customer Director with the Principality Building Society. Julie-Ann is responsible for ensuring that the Society stays well ahead of the rapidly-changing nature of its customer base. Her new role saw her appointment to the Group Board. Read Julie-Ann’s Q&A here


This week’s question is: When did you last up date your skills audit? You’d be suprised what new skills you’ll have gathered. Do you include skills from any volunteer work you may do?


Other stories that have caught our eye this week include…
Accountancy is top sector for supporting and retaining female talent


An inspiring video featuring WomenOne CEO Dayle Haddon and how she is working with the Girl Scouts.


New Bentley University research shows who is climbing the career ladder.


#ThisBook Campaign Highlights Books Written By Women – What’s Your Favourite?



Women in Finance: Julie-Ann Haines, Customer Director at Principality Building Society

03.12.12Principality staff

Julie-Ann Haines joined the Principality Building Society in 2007, building and developing its e-commerce offering. In 2010, she was appointed Director of IT & e-channels and at the end of 2012, promoted to Customer Director, responsible for ensuring that the Society stays well ahead of the rapidly-changing nature of its customer base. Julie-Ann’s new role saw her appointment to the Group Board.

The role of Customer Director is designed to ensure a unified, consistent experience for Principality Group customers across all channels of the business, offering the right products and a service level consistent with what customers expect. Julie-Ann is responsible for marketing, distribution and operations at the building society. Julie-Ann is also responsible for providing a strong customer service operation that we consider to be instrumental in meeting the ambitious growth plans set out by the building society by 2017.  

principality logo

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.

Although, I studied Accountancy at University, I quickly came to realise through working in my father’s retail business that I much preferred customer facing roles!

I went on to study my Masters in International Marketing in Scotland. I was the youngest on the course and one of only four students for the UK. Following my Masters, I started working for a subsidiary of WPP, one of the world’s largest marketing services organisation, which introduced me to the world of advertising and branding. I worked for clients such as Fords, Haagen Dazs and Laura Ashley. The work was strategic, reporting the results of customer research to clients at board level.

Following that, I joined Sainsbury’s as market researcher, and then became their Fresh Food Marketing Planning Manager.  I was most proud of building up the organic fresh food proposition which over-took Waitrose in market share.

I relocated to Cardiff in 1998 to set up home and family. I worked in Sales and Marketing traveling across Europe, for Reckitt Benckiser, one of the world’s largest household and pharmaceutical companies. I spent more time working away from home than being at home.

I had a spell at Halifax Bank of Scotland.  I found the culture there was very difference.  I then moved to my current organisation Principality Building Society. My first challenge was to setup the digital side of the business. I am currently responsible for all customer facing areas of the Principality, which amounts to 550 staff.

How has your life experience shaped you as an individual?

I’ve learnt to be more of a risk taker, the older I get the more confident I am. Creating self-belief is a challenge for many women. I’ve always been quite strategic, big picture thinking. I worked in my Dad’s business from 11 years of age. Being the boss’s daughter, I didn’t wanted staff to think I was there to make up the numbers so I set the example.  This very much framed my business values.

My business values have always been the same:- good work ethic, the more you put in the more you get out. I very much value that in others and focussing on creating long-term value by focussing on the needs of others .

What have the highlights and challenges been during your time at Principality?

My biggest highlights to date has been winning the Best Internet Saving Account at the Money Facts Awards 2013.  In terms of challenge, it has to be balancing home and work commitments.

What characteristics do you think are vital to be a good leader?

Have courage, be a good listener and be prepared to make decisions and make mistakes.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?

I feel there is still some subconscious discrimination.  The politics of the organisation, the way ‘stuff gets done’ requires women to change their style to ensure they have the impact they need to have.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

I’ve had mentoring from senior colleagues. It’s very helpful as it allows you the time to think in a very safe environment and to test some of your initial thoughts.

Who are your role models?

It has to be my Dad. I so admire his braveness.

What is one word that sums up where you have got to today?


Reflections on the first Know Your Value Conference

Screenshot 2014-04-29 20.32.14

Diane Smith, co-organizer of the first Know Your Value conference that took place in Hartford, CT last week shares her reflections on the event in this exclusive post for Women In Web!

Know Your Value really was a great event.  We sold out and had a waiting list….someone commented to me “Next year you’ll need the convention center!” We heard things like “This was so good I can’t believe it was your inaugural,” and “I am already looking forward to next year.” It was very high energy – Mika moderated the entire thing, and was very pumped up. Joe Scarborough came along and was entertaining, too. Gayle King was very funny and people loved her since she worked in CT for a long time.  Rather than give a speech she decided to have a conversation on stage with the Channel 3 anchor who was her “last TV husband in CT.”

We had some fabulous women on the panels — including Melody Barnes who was the senior domestic policy advisor to President Obama and Lisa Hughes – Vice President and Publisher of the New Yorker.

I was on a panel about health and being your best self with Lucy Danziger, former editor in chief of Self magazine. 

We gave away big prizes to random attendees – ranging from a half dozen of the the new TIVO ROAMIO with lifetime service to a work wardrobe from designer Nanette Lepore. 

A number of women told us the swag bag was the best they had ever gotten — we had a specially designed bag stuffed with everything from a JMcLaughlin scarf to Bobbi Brown mascara, Loreal’s new sunscreen, a journal/pen to take notes and much more.

Accenture gave a prize to one woman we had vetted ahead of time. Gladys Mercado was invited to the conference by an administrator at Goodwin Colleges–and had no idea she was getting a prize. She got 20 hours of one on one coaching with top Accenture execs, an IPAD and a $250 gift certificate to Nordstrom to buy a job interview outfit. She is Latina, a single mom of 3 kids, working full time and going to school full time, and when we called her up on stage she was radiant and then burst into tears.   She happens to work for Congressman John Larson from Hartford and he came to the event and joined her on stage to talk about how great she is.

One interesting angle Mika came up with was to give a ten thousand dollar bonus to a deserving woman who had to go up on stage and make a 2 minute pitch on what she would do with the money. The five finalists (chosen from about 300 entries) were each assigned a coach ( I was one of them) and we worked with them on the phone ahead of time, and then in person the day of the  conference. The winner is Darcy Sordo from Clinton CT. Her consignment/resale shop is in Madison. Poppies sells gently used children’s clothing, toys, etc. Her store gives to local charities, and she also is a platform for moms launching products. Darcy was there on stage on Friday after having a heart procedure at Yale New Haven Hospital on Wed. She’s using the 10k to set up website and e-commerce to take it to another level.

The 4 other finalists each got $2K. When one of the women mentioned in her pitch that she would put the money toward her college tuition (first in her family to go to college) a woman from the college who happened to be in the audience  jumped up and grabbed the mic and said they would make sure she got a scholarship!  Totally unexpected but apparently a terrific climax to the day!”

You can watch highlights from the Know Your Value conference here. 

Women In Business: Aimee Bateman, Careercake.com

Aimee Bateman, Careercake.com

Aimee Bateman, Careercake.com

Over the last decade, Aimee Bateman has held senior positions with some of the largest recruitment companies, helped thousands of people achieve their career goals and sourced talent for global corporations as well as smaller entrepreneurial businesses. In 2011, Aimee created Careercake.com.

Along with winning the 2013 Institute of Directors (IoD) Talent and Innovation Award in Wales, she was recently awarded the Canmol (Chartered Institute of Marketing) Marketer of the Year Award. She has also been voted one of 2013′s Rising Stars by Business Insider Magazine. Aimee was also a finalist for the prestigious Shell Live Wire Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 at the age of 26, became a Welsh Government ambassador for the ‘Dynamo’ programme.

Aimee is also the featured careers mentor on various shows for BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Learning and BBC Three, I have written careers articles for The Guardian, TotalJobs.com, The Undercover Recruiter and more. My advice has been featured in The Independent, Glamour Magazine, The Huffington Post and Jobs & Careers Magazine. Aimee delivers workshops and and key note speeches throughout the UK, is an ambassador for National Careers Week and the official careers coach for the AAT.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.

I’ve worked as a commercial recruiter for over ten years, but as a recruiter, my purpose is to find talent for companies rather than jobs for people. Working with individuals to sell themselves proved more rewarding to me, so I left my job, bought a £25 video camera from Ebay and started making career advice videos from my living room.

That was 3 years ago and I now have videos on a number of Youtube channels totally 1.7million views. I have written for Glamour, Stylist Magazine, The Guardian and Jobs and Careers magazine amongst others. I’ve also fronted a number of careers shows for the BBC and work with more than 15 Universities to prepare their graduates for the job market.

How has your life experience made you the individual you are today?

We all have our journey to go on. Not everyone will understand it, but they don’t need to. It’s not their journey. We just have to remember we live the life we make, not the life we are given. We decide.

Why did you want to help others find their dream job?

I didn’t have a huge amount of confidence growing up and it wasn’t until I joined my first company that I realised how good I could be. I saw the value I added through my work and it gave my self-esteem a huge boost.

If we are happy in our work, we are happy in life. We become better friends, mothers, dads, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives. I’m not a life coach, but I believe by helping people achieve their potential in their work, I can help their overall life. To be part of that is so exciting.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your time at Careercake.com?

The biggest challenge was having a big voice very early on but no profile. I would make videos and write articles all day long. I would sit at my computer for 12 hours a day hustling until my eyes bled building relationships, talking to people, listening to people and responding to every email I received…even though people we not paying me for my advice.

It was tough, but also the most fun part of my journey so far. I had made a conscious decision not to monetise Careercake.com for the first 6 – 8 months. This allowed me to build trust, help people and build wonderful relationships. The people who I helped then helped me. They promoted my profile for me (and still do). People need to know we really care about them before we can expect them to really care about us.

What top tips can you offer to those looking for employment?

Make the employer feel special. Remember you are talking to a human not a logo, so give them a real reason to believe you want to work for them.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I have great systems in place, which mean my business is very lean and organised. Not like my personal life at all. I play more than I work these days and I travel a lot. I built a business model that would allow me to travel and work from anywhere. My biggest motivator is freedom, which is why my business is mostly online.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

The only way to be better is to surround yourself with people who are better than you. I do this everyday. I have 2 business mentors and my life is full of lighters (people who inspire and motivate me). We are who we hang with!

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

Apart from my close girlfriends, I admire Marie Forleo, Danielle La Porte and Karren Brady.

What is one word that sums up where you have got to today?


Perceptions of millennial men and women in the workforce: Research from Bentley University

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Although millennial women are seen as better job candidates and better prepared for their first jobs out of college, men are still viewed as better prepared for success in their careers overall, according to survey data released earlier this month by Bentley University that asked respondents for their views about recent college graduates. The survey underscores the need to address out of date perceptions that remain despite positive views on women in the workplace, and other perception-based barriers that prevent millennial women from advancing within their organizations.

The results are part of the Bentley Preparedness Survey, conducted on the University’s behalf by KRC Research, which surveyed more than 3,000 respondents on the “why, what and how” behind the millennial generation’s challenges in the 21st century workforce. A key area covered in the survey is the perception of career preparedness and advancement of women in the workplace compared to men.

“There’s no question that millennial women have what it takes to make it to the top of their organizations,” said Betsy Myers, the founding director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley. “But as these results show, we still have work to do to clear away the obstacles that deprive women of equal opportunities to advance their careers.”

By a margin of 59 percent to 41 percent, respondents consider women to be better prepared than men for success in their first jobs. But respondents give the edge to men over their entire careers, 53 percent to 47 percent, reinforcing the idea that perceptions, not necessarily skills, still play a key role in whether women and men have equal opportunities in their professional lives.

Other key survey findings include:

• More than 8 in 10 respondents (82%) – including 76% of men – believe women are better suited for business success in terms of their communication and interpersonal skills. And 86% of respondents (including 76% of men) rate women higher in terms of their organizational skills.

• However, 64% of respondents, including a majority of women, say men are better suited to business success in terms of their leadership abilities, which may help explain why respondents view men as better prepared for success over their entire careers.

• The one area where respondents split along gender lines is decision-making skills: 62% of women say that women are better suited for success in terms of their decision-making skills, while 63% of men believe the same to be true of men.

• Encouragingly, millennial women have great confidence in women’s skills and abilities. A full 92% of millennial women believe that women’s organizational skills are superior to men’s. And 84% believe that women’s communications and interpersonal skills are superior to men’s – skills that the Bentley Preparedness Survey showed to be highly valued by business leaders.

The survey examined potential solutions for preparing millennial college graduates, both men and women, for success not just in their first jobs after college, but throughout their careers. It found that all stakeholders – parents, business leaders, colleges and universities, high school and college students, and recent college graduates – can play a stronger role in encouraging millennial women to pursue business careers and help remove obstacles that prevent them from rising through the ranks.

Bentley’s Center for Women and Business works to identify solutions to help women reach positions of leadership. Most recently, the CWB joined forces with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to develop a fellowship program that places graduate-level women in paid positions in state government while also providing leadership training and networking opportunities.

To learn more about the Bentley Preparedness Survey’s findings on women in business, visit The PreparedU Project. To learn more about the main findings from the survey visit The PreparedU Project launch.

Women In Web Weekly Round-Up


Welcome to our weekly round-up of what’s been happening in the world of Women In Web.

This week, I was honored to feature an exclusive Q&A with Washington D.C. based writer, interviewer, broadcaster, photographer and public speaker, Carol Ross Joynt. As a writer and journalist, Carol’s career is one that inspires me, and it was fascinating to speak to her about her professional work as a ‘news outlier’ and her time as a producer for programs including The Charlie Rose Show and Larry King Live. Equally as fascinating is Carol’s insight into her life following the death of her husband in 1997, and her subsequent fight with the IRS to gain ‘innocent spouse’ status due to tax fraud by her late husband. Carol inherited the landmark Georgetown restaurant Nathans, and it was here that she created the fantastic Q&A Café. Nathans closed in 2009 and the Q&A Café is now held at The George Town Club and you can watch some of Carol’s fascinating interviews with some of Washington’s most notable individuals here.

If her Q&A isn’t already fascinating enough Carol is generously giving away a signed copy of her memoir Innocent Spouse for one lucky reader! To read the Q&A and enter the giveaway click here.

We also had the pleasure this week of interviewing Manon Antoniazzi, CEO of Visit Wales. Manon has had a distinguished career, working at institutions including the National Assembly for Wales, BBC Wales and for HRH The Prince of Wales. To find out more about Manon’s work and why you should visit Wales click here.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Mightybell as one of our Advocates. Keep your eyes peeled for great Mightybell news and features with individuals that use their community.

Other stories that have caught our eye this week include…

Single, female and under 30? You’re the top choice for a job abroad.

Women are on boards at all FTSE 100 manufacturing firms.

Jill Abramson’s firing shows women that we still must be more than good.

Nine women who spoke out against their industry

Women in Business: Manon Antoniazzi, CEO at Visit Wales

Manon Antoniazzi

Manon Antoniazzi

Manon Antoniazzi was recently appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer, Tourism and Marketing for Wales within the Welsh Government. Prior to this she worked in the private sector as a specialist in leadership development and was a member of the household of the Prince of Wales, where she served as a senior Private Secretary from 2004-2012. Manon has worked in public affairs and governance at the BBC, as Secretary of BBC Wales and subsequently Head of Public Policy, Nations and Regions. She has also worked as Director of Communications at the National Assembly for Wales and Head of Press and Public Relations at S4C.

Manon is a former Chairman of The Prince’s Trust Cymru and Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has served on the advisory boards of the Philharmonia Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.

Like most people, I have always worked best when driven by things that interest me and about which I feel passionately.  My first job (after finishing a PhD in Medieval Welsh Poetry) was at Welsh Water where I was tasked with drawing up a policy for bilingualism across the various groups in the company. This was a great introduction to commercial life and taught me a lot about balancing principles and practicalities.  It proved the start of a varied career which has spanned marketing, communications, governance, policy and management work – the unifying thread has been cultural content.  Each job has had elements within it that have led to the next and I’ve been fortunate to twice have had the chance to return in an enhanced role to a previous employer, showing that it can sometimes pay to be bold about career moves.  Having made that start in the private sector, I have also worked in the public sector and the third sector, so I have an appreciation of the strengths – and frustrations – of each.

How has your life experience made you the individual you are today?

Definitely the most defining experience was the birth of my daughter.  I was pregnant when I was appointed as Assistant Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales in 1993 and started work in Clarence House when Indeg (now 20) was 5 months old.  It was a crash course in combining motherhood with a very busy and demanding job and on top of it all I had to move to London.  I don’t believe I will face many things that testing again!

Has there been a particular role that has propelled your career into a different direction to what you were expecting?

I haven’t been prescriptive about planning a career, but probably the most striking change of direction came when I was at S4C, the Welsh language broadcaster, as their head of Press and Public Relations.  The channel had developed a strong expertise in animation which had potential to be marketed in different language versions around the world.  One project was an animated film of The Prince of Wales’s book The Old Man of Lochnagar and I found myself not only co-ordinating a press launch, but also coaching HRH to deliver a Welsh-language voiceover (not that he needed much coaching).  Next thing, I was asked whether I’d be interested in my name going forward as a potential Assistant Private Secretary in his office.  It was approaching the 25th anniversary of his Investiture in Caernarfon Castle and it was thought a good idea to have a private secretary on the team from Wales.  It was a two-year secondment which was to turn into an eighteen-year professional association…  I was privileged to get to know the UK from a unique perspective and work in partnership with some of Britain’s leading cultural and charitable organisations.

Tell us about your role at Visit Wales.

I was appointed eighteen months ago to work with the talented team responsible for developing the tourism sector and maximising its contribution to the Welsh economy.  As part of the Welsh Government, we invest strategically in individual tourism projects and major events and are also responsible for marketing Wales domestically and overseas.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your time at Visit Wales?

We had an excellent year last year, helped by fine weather, but of course also by some very focussed marketing work!  Highlights include the current celebrations of Dylan Thomas’s centenary, the chance to host a meeting of NATO in September in Newport, and the opportunity to appreciate through local visits just how far the industry has developed in the last few decades.  Challenges boil down to making the most of our resources to make an impact in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

For a reader who is thinking of visiting Wales what would you recommend that they see and do?

The website www.visitwales.co.uk  has a wealth of information on what to see and do – be that for a family holiday, luxury weekend or activity trip.  As the Wales Coast Path has just celebrated its second anniversary, why not tackle some of the 870 mile long path. Rhossili Beach has recently been named as the best beach in the UK and among the top ten in the world – and there are plenty more fantastic beaches to explore along the coast path.  The Dylan Thomas 100 festival adds to our wealth of festivals and events this year as we celebrate the centenary of his birth, an opportunity to discover more about the poet and the places which inspired him.   There’s plenty of on offer to get the adrenaline going too, from Zip Wires to downhill mountain bike tracks and of course, no visit to Wales would be complete without a visit to one of our 641 castles.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I work long hours, but do so in order to protect time off with the family, who will let me know quickly enough if I’m getting it wrong.  There are plenty of things I love doing outside work, such as reading, playing the harp and running, so I don’t allow work to expand to fit all the available time.  I am fortunate to have an excellent team around me – that makes it much easier to share the burden.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

I have had great advice at various stages in my career, not least from my parents.  Outside the family, one former boss is still someone to whom I turn every time I contemplate a new career move.  On the professional front, I worked on a project a few years ago to help an international mentoring company called CMi establish an office in London – our purpose was to match up high flying (board level FTSE100) executives with experienced Chairman who could mentor them, utilising lessons learnt from experience rather than from theory books.  This has left me with great respect for that mode of working and the benefits gained by both parties from developing strong privileged relationships with people who are just distant enough from your work to be objective.  It proved particularly useful for women in business – irrespective of the gender of their mentors.  You do have to establish excellent chemistry though, so it isn’t entirely straightforward to find the right match.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

I lapped up Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In last year.  I think it should be required reading for young women.  It is still too difficult to achieve success on the same terms as men in some sectors and getting the tone right can be tough.  I have learnt a lot from female bosses I have had over the years, from Menna Richards at BBC Wales to Jenny Abramsky at the Heritage Lottery Fund and Welsh Government Minister Edwina Hart.