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Search and recruitment of C Level women – progress or prejudice?

Do you aspire to a seat in the boardroom or do you associate it with Alan Sugar and hot air? Your answer to this question may be driven as much by gender as by ambition.

In 2011 Lord Davies, former Trade Minister, set a goal that by the end of 2015, 25% of board members in FTSE 100 companies should be women. In March, government figures reported 23.5% achieved, but this has since been attributed to a rise in the number of non-executive female directors, rather than those involved in day to day company running and looking outside of FTSE 100 the minority status of female board members is clear. A year later The Guardian reported, “Efforts to appoint more women to the boards of Britain’s biggest companies have stalled, while men still exert a tight grip on key decision-making positions, new data has revealed.”

Does it really matter?

Board members are also known as the C-suite. These are the people who make the big decisions and hold most power within an organisation. Such executives are expected to lead, guide and build a company rather than provide pure functional or technical know-how and their salaries reflect these extra demands.

Those who argue for women board members emphasise how female traits spill into their management style, making it more neutral and less ego-driven –in other words, a nicer place to work. Recent McKinsey* research confirms that C-level women are loath to make decisions they don’t understand and are therefore more likely to ensure everyone in the boardroom takes part – leading with compassion and fairness.

Yet,C-level women getting everyone to input could simply prolong decision-making and we all know that bringing new perspectives can increase conflict, dissatisfaction and distrust. When Marissa Mayer, took the role of President and CEO at Yahoo, her leadership banned telecommuting and instituted a performance review system based on a bell curve, with those at the low end being fired. Perhaps not the compassion or fairness you’d expect.

A glass ceiling or a considered choice?

In countries where gender equality is highly valued, such as Scandinavia and the Netherlands, women directors are the norm rather than the exception. Norway now has a mandatory quota system of 40%, believing that at least three women on the board are optimum for changing company dynamics.

Flexible working and maternity provisions in such countries, also encourage women to aspire and remain at board level as part of their career plan. Sharing the family workload is an obvious way to remove traditional barriers and paves the way for future generations to follow in their mother’s footsteps.

Merit or metrics?

The jury may still be out, but there is no doubt that by merit or metrics, more and more women are finding a seat in the boardroom. The largest companies may still be male dominated, but school level engagement, start-up funding and government backing, mean that in the UK at least, there’s a real desire to increase female representation. Although going forward it would be hoped that individuals might continue to be judged and selected based on their abilities and company fit, rather than their gender.


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Head of Marketing for Vodka, Gin and RTDs

Denholm is delighted to be working in partnership with Loch Lomond Group to recruit a passionate, creative and strategically-minded marketing professional to the team. In this newly created role, the Head of Marketing for Vodka, Gin and RTDs will take full ownership for defining the direction the clear spirit brands take.

The role will offer the perfect balance of brand and trade marketing activities. Working with a category leading brand, you will have strong consumer branding knowledge which will allow to translate these brand activations into engaging brand stories and will help recruit the target audience into the brand halo. A strong commercial marketer, you will work with the Sales team to execute key marketing initiatives, ensuring that all brand executions produce a strong ROI through the P&L.

The Head of Vodka, Gin and RTDs is one of the most exciting roles available in the marketplace and will provide a solid platform for an adventurous and thought-provoking market leader to make a big impact in the category.

Head of Whisky Marketing

Denholm are delighted to be working exclusively with Loch Lomond Group; one of the most exciting and fast-growing global spirits companies in the country. To assist with their growth ambitions, they are looking to recruit a commercially astute and strategic marketer to join their team in a newly created role, as Head of Whisky Marketing.

Reporting to the Chief Marketing Officer, the Head of Whisky will create and drive a comprehensive and strategic brand plan including positioning, range architecture and pricing strategy to allow delivery of the business growth ambitions. You will have a background of working with premium spirits and be confident in launching NPD and range extensions across the global marketplace, ensuring alignment to the brand values through promotional toolkits. In addition to a background in brand-building, with the consumer at the heart of global activations, you will have experience of leading brand communications across all platforms including digital, sponsorship, PR and Events.

The Head of Whisky will be a visionary thinker and will bring passion and enthusiasm to the role. You will have the ability to nurture and lead a high performing team to ensure that all strategic plans are translated into commercially successful activations.


If you’d like to find out more please give us a call or drop us a quick note here and we’ll get right back to you.


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