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ACCA chief executive joins advisory board of new Women’s Executive Network in the UK

ACCA | Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

3 min read Partner content

The network brings together industry-wide efforts to build and maintain a strong pipeline of women executives in the UK.

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive at ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has joined the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) as a London Honorary Advisory Board Member. 

The global body for professional accountants is also a corporate partner of the network, along with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and media partner The Guardian: Women in Leadership. Working in collaboration with the Institute of Directors (IoD), all are supporting the network’s UK launch.

Having an exceptional track record of helping to develop women leaders in Canada and Ireland, WXN is launching in the UK with the mission to provide development and networking opportunities aimed at helping women to reach and retain executive and leadership positions.

ACCA’s support is consistent with its efforts to create the necessary conditions and opportunities for women to thrive and succeed in leadership positions in the accountancy and finance industry.

ACCA’s involvement with WXN will complement existing activities and offer an outlet for women, as well as men, within the organisation to nurture and mentor prospective candidates, as well as network with other men and women in leadership positions. The experience and the expertise of the network will be invaluable as the firm looks to share best practice and learn from peers across all areas of business about new ways of helping women reach leadership positions.

Helen Brand OBE’s involvement with WXN follows a longstanding commitment to improving the representation of women in executive positions by inspiring them to lead.

Helen Brand OBE said: “This network is important in showing, and giving women the confidence, that they can gain senior positions in organisations.

“Our office in Canada has already partnered with WXN there, and so we were delighted to do the same in the UK when the opportunity arose.

“Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, said recently that he hopes his daughters will not experience inequality in pay just because of their gender. The same must be eliminated for accessing the top jobs. It can be done.”

Pamela Jeffery, WXN Founder, says: “We are privileged to have Helen Brand OBE join our advisory board in the UK. Helen has demonstrated passion and long-time commitment to advancing the cause of inspiring smart women to lead.  Her passion and knowledge will be invaluable as we build our presence in the UK and advance our mission.”

Joining Helen on WXN’s esteemed London Honorary Advisory Board is:

Lady Barbara Judge CBE, Chairman, Institute of Directors
Harry Samuel, CEO, RBC Investor Treasury Services; Chairman, European Executive Committee
Susan Vinnicombe OBE, Professor of Women and Leadership, Cranfield University School of Management; Director, International Centre for Women Leaders
Dame Fiona Woolf DBE, Partner, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

"Over recent years, progress has been made of women securing leadership positions in business, however there is still an extremely long way to go.  In the UK, women now account for 23.5% of overall board directorships which is better than in many other countries but there is still much room for improvement,” says WXN Founder Pamela Jeffery.

"We are hoping the launch of WXN in the UK will further help to raise the profile of issues such as gender diversity in all levels of leadership, board governance and compensation.  However, we also believe in a bottom-up approach; equipping women to take charge of their careers, aspire to leadership and, when they succeed, inspire other women to follow. In short, we want to inspire smart women to lead. We have been overwhelmed by the level of support we have received for the launch of WXN in the UK from prospective members, advisory board members and corporate partners."

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