‘Get more women into our senior roles’

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A national green services company is calling for the horticulture industry to attract more women into senior roles.

Glendale, which delivers specialist green services to clients across the UK, elected Sue McGrath onto its board of directors as chairman in April.

Sue joined Chorley-based Glendale in 2008 as director of human resources, having experience in a variety of sectors including tourism, education and the NHS.

Her appointment is in line with a 2011 government review of gender equality in business at boardroom level, which led to the outline of a target for at least one in four board members to be women by 2015.

Figures from a Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) report in 2010 showed women made up 12.5 per cent of members of corporate boards of the 100 largest companies in the UK. By 2015, that figure increased to 23.5 per cent.

Sue, who has a masters degree in HR and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), says gender should not be a barrier for progression and that it’s important to ensure a balance in the boardroom, by encouraging more women into the executive pipeline.

Sue said: “Having a woman in the position of chairman shows women they can progress as far as their aspirations will take them.

“At management level, there might be differences in styles, behaviours and attitude, but they should be embraced and learnt from. It’s important for everyone at Glendale to be aware of differences, because we work within communities that are inherently diverse and it is important for us to reflect this. We know our clients like to see an organisation that embraces a good gender mix.

“Furthermore, a range of individuals incorporating different genders and backgrounds in senior level positions means there is also a range of skills and attributes in the field, and fresh perspectives.”

She also points out that while the industry may be traditionally male dominated, at Glendale there’s such a variety of work available, encompassing a range of opportunities suitable for both male and female employees and scope for career progression.