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NI’s top businesses called to Pledge Support for 30:30 Vision

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Emma Cowan on April 17, 2014 - 6:00 am in News

With just under 30days until the first International Business Women’s Conference – IBWC 2014 -in Northern Ireland, Women in Business NI (WIBNI) is calling upon top players in the private sector to sign up to ‘30:30 Vision’, an initiative aimed at driving gender diversity at leadership level in business here.

The initiative has been inspired by the fact that on the most recent NI list of Top 100 businesses, only 5% are led by women. Women in Business NI believes that figure should be closer to at least 30%. Ultimately 3030 Vision seeks to drive economic growth by unlocking the full potential of the NI talent pool. It is the aim of Women in Business NI that by the time their upcoming conference opens in Belfast on 13th May 2014, at least 30 of Northern Ireland’s top 100 businesses will have signed up to the 30:30 Vision commitment.

The Conference theme is ‘Creating a New Economy’ and among a variety of topics under discussion, the business and economic case for gender diversity will feature.   In pledging their commitment to the 30:30 Vision, companies will be encouraged to consider how they can develop initiatives to support and promote a more diverse workplace.

Speaking about the challenge, Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, WIBNI said, “There is a global body of evidence to prove that companies and economies will be more competitive and successful if they empower individuals with the best talent; both male and female. Evidence shows that creating a balanced workforce aids innovation and increases the representation of consumers in employee teams, resulting in improved product design and development.
Through its 30:30 Vision, WIBNI seeks to secure a minimum of 30% of Northern Ireland’s top 100 companies signing up to show their commitment to supporting and promoting the diversity agenda. Some of the leading representatives from within Northern Ireland’s business sector have already pledged their support, including Asda, PwC, Ulster Bank and Liberty IT.
Kate Marshall, Chair, Women in Business NI added; “At a time when we are trying to give the NI economy a competitive edge, unlike many other economic levers unlocking the economic potential of gender diversity is entirely within our control. It would therefore be a missed economic opportunity if we were to ignore this challenge and WIBNI believe it is the collective responsibility of business leaders to harness the power of a more gender diverse workplace for all our benefit.

“While we are starting with this initial commitment, long term, we hope to see all of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies creating strategies and policies that proactively focus on creating opportunities for talented women to progress to CEO, Senior Management positions and Boards by 2017. As such, we believe 30:30 can help unlock Northern Ireland’s full potential and create an economic ripple effect, driving growth at home and beyond.”

All businesses signing up to Women in Business NI’s 30:30 Vision within the next 30 days will be announced to an international audience in Belfast at IBWC 2014 next month.  More details about the initiative and conference can be found at www.ibwc2014.com



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