Women in the Boardroom
Luncheon Presentation by Dame Joan Stringer, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University
Besides combatting ingrained attitudes from male-dominated boardrooms, women must also overcome their own prejudices and fears that inhibit them from competing for top positions. If women step out of the shadow of traditional roles and expectations, will they have to change their behavior in order to be seen as "one of the boys"? Is there a better route - one supported by enlightened mentors, particularly male mentors, where the playing field is even and the principal basis for advancement is on merit? Can companies change their corporate habits sufficiently to be more flexible in making allowances for family responsibilities for both men and women? Is a mandatory, government-imposed ratio of women directors really the answer or does it raise more problems than it is meant to resolve?
Joan Stringer became Principal & Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University (then Napier University) in 2003. Prior to that, she was Principal and Vice-Patron of Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. Dame Joan currently serves as an Executive Committee member of the Scottish Council Development and Industry; Board Member of the Higher Education Statistics Agency and Board Member of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. She has also served as Chair of the Scottish Executive’s “Strategic Expert Group on Women”, Member of the Scottish Committee of British Council and Chair of Education UK Scotland. Dame Joan was awarded a CBE in 2001 for Services to Higher Education, and in 2009 she was awarded a DBE. She graduated in History and Politics at the University of Keele and was awarded her PhD in 1986.