Succession Planning

For our latest blog, MAD-HR founder Carole Burman discusses the key to staff diversity through effective talent-spotting, board diversity, and succession planning.

Last week saw reaction travel far and wide, over a new report which revealed major companies had some pretty dire excuses as to why they’re not appointing women to the board.

The findings of the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review were that CEOs at some FTSE 350 companies were still of the belief that women would not ‘want the pressure or hassle’ (and many other appalling excuses besides).  It’s no wonder the revelations caused business minister Andrew Griffiths to brand the cited reasons as ‘pitiful and patronising’.

My experience

Prior to founding MAD-HR, I’m fortunate to be able to say that I was a director in a male-dominated industry with a less than favourable reputation when it came to equality and diversity – the motor retail sector.

I’m immensely proud that I was taken seriously and shown huge respect by my male and female colleagues throughout my time at Marshall Motor Group.

I’m also delighted to know that today the firm has three women on its board and is very much doing its best to ensure that board positions are as equally available to women as to men.

In my world now running an HR Consultancy, we deal with firms of all sizes, and, on the whole, we certainly see a real desire to share and evidence a dedicated commitment to valuing diversity.  One of the areas which we are tasked to help with a lot, is that of Board Succession Planning.

It’s often during this period of work where we can help businesses (and indeed, charities and voluntary sector organisations) to explore what their criteria is for board appointment, and how they identify talent.

My advice

My biggest advice for any business owner or leader who observed the recent headlines and wondered about their own approach to male vs female positions on their own board is:

  • Look at your ‘bigger picture’ approach to valuing diversity
  • Consider how you’re identifying talent within your business
  • Undertake some robust exploration into your board succession planning

MAD-HR would be delighted to help you with these areas.  Start the conversation by dropping us an email at or calling us on 01473 360160.

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