Business as Usual

The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) is the UK’s premier business lobbying organisation, speaking for 190,000 businesses across the UK. However, one employee feels as though frequent business dinners and sports events are not ‘inclusive’ enough for women.

Carolyn Fairbairn has criticized business dinners as ‘not very inclusive’ for women, after she was appointed the first female chief of the company. She also claimed that many women would ‘rather go home to their families in the evening.’

She suggested an alternative of hosting an “early evening discussion panel, holding a proper debate, and then people can go home by 7:30pm”, as she said she rarely stayed until the end of corporate meetings because of her three children. “Maybe the business dinner is a vestige of old business life,” she said.

In one of her first interviews since taking over as chief, Mrs Fairbairn sad it would be ‘terrific’ if her appointment inspired women to look for careers in business, and was very pleased with the “good progress on reaching the 25% target of women on boards”.

She added, however, that “there is a long way to go, especially among senior management”.