Tech companies launch mentoring initiative for senior women

01 Oct 2019

Tech companies launch mentoring initiative for senior women

Top UK technology companies launch the Rebus Mentoring Programme led by Odgers Berndtson Executive Search.

Over 50 leading technology and telecoms employers across the UK have pledged support for a new industry-wide mentoring program to help senior women progress from managerial roles to board and top executive roles.

The goal is to help achieve 33% of board positions being held by female leaders by 2020.

The Rebus Mentoring Programme, organized by Odgers Berndtson executive search, was launched at an event in London, in partnership with BT and Avanade.

Business leaders from over 50 leading telecoms and technology employers were on the guest list.

Google supports senior team diversity

Google is  committed to supporting the initiative, Hugh Dickerson, Senior Industry Head, commented, “I am very excited to be a part of the Rebus program as Google understands the importance of ensuring that a business' senior team-best reflects the diversity of the consumers they serve and how supporting women to reach their true potential is a critical component in this endeavor".

Nine events planned

The program will kick off in January 2020, with the first of nine events scheduled for next year.

The focus is firmly on women working in the technology sector who are already in leadership roles, looking to take the next step into top executive or board positions.

Around 150 women will benefit from Rebus Mentoring in its first year, with a similar number of mentors volunteering to help.

Holly Addison, Head of Consumer Digital at Odgers Berndtson who is leading the initiative, said, “The program provides a framework and the support many women tell us they need at a critical stage in their careers when they are two or three steps away from board level. This can often be a time when women feel they hit a glass ceiling.”

“Rebus aims to help women progress to the next stage in their careers by giving them access to mentors who are either director level or have established their own businesses. It will be particularly helpful for those working in SMEs where formal support may not otherwise be available,” she added.

As launch partners for Rebus, BT and Avanade are among a number of companies that have already identified mentors to support next year’s events. Mentors must bring board-level experience but only need to attend one of the events annually. All of these will be run using a ‘speed-mentoring’ model.

“The vision behind this mentoring scheme is to give talented women the empowerment and support they need to achieve leadership roles and reach their career aspirations,” said Rachel Higham, Managing Director of IT at BT.

Laura Malcolm, COO at Avanade UK & Ireland added: “Diverse teams and inclusive environments are critical in driving business innovation and we’re happy that Avanade will continue to play a key role in helping more women to reach their true potential”.

Odgers Berndtson global study

Earlier in 2019, Odgers Berndtson published a global study, Women Leaders in Technology analyzing almost 1,000 of its senior technology appointments in the five years to January 2019. This showed that whilst women had doubled their share of top technology appointments and narrowed the earnings gap with men, more progress is needed. This is particularly true across senior specialists and top commercial roles.

Get in touch to find out more about the Rebus mentoring program for senior women in tech.