QuoLuxTM b-corp

Recognising and Celebrating Women in Leadership

Aspiring Women Leaders 

International Women's Day is a day across the globe that has been observed since 1911, and a day that recognises and celebrates women. 113 years later, it also serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve full gender equality and address the issues of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality.

Recognising and celebrating the achievements of women in leadership roles across different sectors is essential. Women have made significant strides in breaking through the glass ceiling, overcoming gender biases, and contributing to social, economic, political, and cultural progress globally. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that this week is also Women in Construction Week™, to celebrate and promote the role of women in the construction industry. 


Increasing Representation 

The representation of women in leadership positions has been gradually increasing in recent years, although the pace of change varies significantly by industry, region and the level of leadership being discussed.  

In the UK women are still under-represented in leadership teams, but at QuoLux™ we are quite the opposite. Our board of three includes two leading women, with our head of operations also flying the female flag. 


clockwise top L-R: Rachael Ramos, Jo Draper and Keeley Witts, QuoLux™


Diverse Leadership Styles 

Much research indicates that by increasing representation of women in leadership positions, it brings diverse perspectives to decision-making processes. Women are often credited with bringing different leadership styles to the table, including collaborative and empathetic approaches. Research suggests that these styles can lead to high-performing and inclusive work environments, fostering creativity and innovation.   

McKinsey have published several editions of the “Women in the Workplace” report in partnership with LeadIn.Org, the results of which make for both an encouraging and frustrating read. They consistently find that organisations with higher representation of women in leadership roles, particularly in executive positions, outperform those with fewer women in leadership in terms of profitability and value creation.  


Impact on Society and Economy 

If we look at such findings through our lens as a B Corp certified company, it is to be applauded that studies also show that companies with women in leadership positions are more socially responsible, and that women leaders play a crucial role in advocating for policies that benefit women and families, including healthcare, education and parental leave. 


Roles Models and Mentorship 

The visibility of women in leadership roles can inspire and empower future generations of women leaders. However, to ensure that these future leaders do not suffer from "the broken rung" – a metaphor for the critical point where women are less likely to be promoted to managerial positions, thus stalling their progress up the ladder – focused efforts are needed, and coaching, mentorship and networking opportunities are crucial for supporting women’s career advancement and leadership development. 

On our LEADlight program for middle leaders and managers, which has been running since 2019, almost a third of participants are female. By investing in these rising stars, they increase their confidence in leading, delegating and influencing change, and become more prepared for senior management responsibilities. 

LEAD™ is the first step in the series of our senior leadership programs and we know from bench-marking against recent research that with nearly one quarter of our LEAD™ delegates being women, we have over a third more ladies than those on typical national programs, which is great, but it’s still a long way from being 50/50.   

Our numbers rise in our follow-on programs from LEAD™ where women make up one third of delegates on our GOLD™ program and nearly half of those undertaking our GAIN™ program and achieving the related work-based learning MBA.  

But many of the women we first speak to about leadership often don’t have the self-belief to see themselves in that role, even though they are, invariably, already leading and growing business. Unlocking this confidence comes through reflection, collaboration and support. 

We see it first-hand on our LEAD™ program where, by bringing together peers from other companies to learn, share, reflect and support one another as they work on real life business issues, they feel better equipped, and more confident, to deal with whatever is thrown at them. They #InspireBelief in one another. 

With access to tools, techniques and frameworks through the course and that powerful community of support, all of our delegates are able to explore and reflect on their leadership skills, building their confidence and ultimately supporting success. 


Winning Women 

Before the end of our LEAD™ program, our graduation awards offer an opportunity for the cohort to nominate their peers across four areas - Leadership Improvement, Business Improvement / Growth, Staff Development and Peer Support. It was wonderful to see that each and every member of the recently graduated LEAD™ Cohort 21 was recognised by their peers in at least one category, but for the first time, 75% of the winners were women. 

Nicky Reynolds, Finance Director at Frocester Security was a joint winner of the Leadership Improvement Award, representing how her leadership skills developed from the beginning of the program to the end. 

Nicky shared, "I can’t speak highly enough about LEAD™ - it was absolutely fantastic. The comprhensive content and unique program, coupled with engaging instructors and speakers has provided me with invaluable skills, confidence and a fabulous toolbox to continue to grow. It truly exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to enhance their leadership capabilities."  


Georgina Read, Founder and Managing Director of Rise HR scooped the Peer Support Award, representing how she supported her fellow LEAD™ delegates throughout the program. Georgina said, “I would highly recommend LEAD™ to any leader or business owner questioning themselves or struggling with imposter syndrome, or if they feel they could do differently or better for themselves or their team. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and learn so much from experts in leadership.”  

One of Georgina’s team, on congratulating her, said, “We’re not surprised (she won the award) as we are lucky enough to see that support all the time!”


Claire Cousens, Chief Operating Officer at HARBOUR ATS won the Staff Development Award, representing how she implemented changes back in their workplace to develop her staff, with Claire commenting, "LEAD™ totally exceeded my expectations and then some, and I would 100% recommend the course to others. It has given me confidence and belief in who I am and what I am capable of – it’s now time to show myself just what I can do.”  

Claire’s experience and achievements through the program have ignited a ripple effect of positive change in HARBOUR, setting a shining example for continuous improvement and the pursuit of excellence. As HARBOUR’s own blog this week says about Claire, “Her story is a powerful reminder that growth often lies on the other side of discomfort, and that with the right mindset and support, overcoming imposter syndrome is not just possible – it’s the pathway to unlocking our full potential.” Powerful words of recognition by her organisation. 


L-R: Claire Cousens, Chief Operating Officer, HARBOUR ATS; Georgina Read, Founder & Managing Director, Rise HR; and Nicky Reynolds, Finance Director, Frocester Security. 


We’re incredibly proud of all that our Alumni have achieved and watch now as they ‘pay it forward’ developing their next generation of leaders in their businesses. 


This Way Forward 

Regularly celebrating the achievements of women leaders and telling their success stories can serve as powerful inspiration for aspiring women leaders. 

And investing in leadership development programs is a commonly recommended strategy in discussions about how to support and enhance women’s leadership capabilities and opportunities. 

Every year during March, the global B Corp community join together to celebrate everything it means to be a B Corp, raising awareness of the movement across the world.  

With their ethos of Business as a Force for Good™, B Corps are businesses like ours that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, aiming to balance profit and purpose.  

This year the B Corp theme is ‘This Way Forward’, aiming to show the world how we move forward, together – an invitation to join the journey to better business – and plan how to keep growing our impact in the future. 

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’ and so if we merge the two, there is a powerful opportunity for synergy and impactful action. 

By aligning the themes that B Corps look to uphold, businesses can drive meaningful progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment while reinforcing their commitment to broader societal and environmental goals. This approach underscores the power of collective action and the role of businesses in building a more inclusive and equitable future.  



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