Nine more business women from Eastern region graduate from Pure’s Women’s Leadership Programme
23rd November 2016
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First established in 2014, Pure runs the Women’s Leadership Programme twice a year in conjunction with strategic HR consultancy People & Performance. It is designed to help organisations across the Eastern region to create a balanced talent pipeline and to ultimately achieve inclusive leadership at both executive and board level. This year’s programmes have coincided with the government announcing that the next review on improving female representation in leadership positions will have an increased focus on getting more women into the senior managerial jobs below board level.


Lynn Walters, co-founder and director at Pure, said: “There has been a refreshing emphasis on people talking about increasing the number of female leaders, rather than just women on boards. This hasn’t just been from government ministers looking at large multinational organisations but also from many high-profile people in our region. For example, Richard Tunnicliffe, Director of CBI in the East, recently called on businesses of all shapes and sizes to look beyond boards and to help more women progress from entry-level to senior management positions. I completely agree. As a region, we need to take steps to build a pipeline of women progressing into leadership roles. This is the core reason we created this programme in the first place. Diversity is widely understood to be fundamental to the sustained growth of any business and having a more balanced talent pipeline will lead to increased future profits and help boost our regional economy.


“While it is fantastic that there are more female non-executive directors in the boardroom, the very nature of their roles makes it harder for them to be role models, as they are less visible within the organisation. This programme works with the organisation to develop inclusive talent and succession planning strategies, as well as removing any potential barriers or unconscious bias that could be preventing more women from progressing. It also supports women to become authentic and effective leaders.” 


The latest business women to graduate from the Women’s Leadership Programme will join a growing alumni network of delegates, and their business sponsors, across the region. Research on the graduates from 2014 and 2015 showed that out of the 48 participants, over half have increased responsibilities within their existing role or have progressed on to more senior roles. 


A special graduation event was held for the nine women at Swynford Manor in Newmarket on Thursday 10 November. The delegates and sponsors heard from guest speaker Jane Cooke, who up unto recently was HR Director of Abcam, and who has seen the organisation grow from around 50 to over 2,000 staff globally. She talked about maintaining an authentic approach, the importance of mentoring, and looking for opportunities to say yes to new projects and experiences.


Lynn Walters added: “Congratulations to all the latest graduates. I hope the programme will help them on their own personal journey to becoming some of the best business leaders of the future. I would also like to thank the employers who have sponsored our latest graduates. They are leading the way by taking proactive steps to develop their female talent and to examine their overall progression pipeline.”


The Women’s Leadership Programme includes four days of facilitated learning and two individual coaching sessions focused on building confidence and a plan, increasing strategic awareness and influence, and being effective and authentic leaders. The first Women’s Leadership Programme of 2017 will take place in January and March. For more information visit or email Lucy Plumb at

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