Entrepreneur, chief executive and author Margaret Heffernan gave a fascinating talk at a packed IWF UK event on 13 December about her book 'Wilful Blindness' and its effect on corporate culture and how women are treated.
About 60 members and guests attended the event, kindly hosted by Elaine Aarons at Withers and moderated by Janet Cooper OBE, and Margaret's speech provoked a spate of interesting questions and ideas.
Margaret said we were at a 'revolutionary moment', referring to the wave of sexual harassment scandals and the stand being taken against them, first by a few courageous women, and then by the massive #MeToo campaign against sexual violence. 'There's a mental model of power which women don't fit. We have to change what power looks like. Power is pretty male, it's pretty white, and it's always tall!'
Margaret challenged women leaders to use their clout for others, especially those without power, prompting many in the audience to share suggestions and experience of how change can happen, for example in tackling the gender pay gap or all-male leadership teams. Margaret is working on the next edition of 'Wilful Blindness' which we are very much looking forward to.
The talk was followed by refreshments and lively, long-lasting discussion, as we reflected on Margaret's stimulating food for thought.
Some of the issues were discussed on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour on 15 December BBC Woman's Hour