More women joining Institute of Directors

  • Clear trend: Rochelle Simons, chairwoman of the Bermuda branch of the Institute of Directors (Photograph supplied)

    Clear trend: Rochelle Simons, chairwoman of the Bermuda branch of the Institute of Directors (Photograph supplied)

  • Career progression: Peta White, of Markel, said a primary reason she joined the IoD was to help her develop her current role (Photograph supplied)

    Career progression: Peta White, of Markel, said a primary reason she joined the IoD was to help her develop her current role (Photograph supplied)


More women are joining an organisation representing directors and more are taking advantage of training programmes, according to the Bermuda branch of the Institute of Directors.

From 2013 to 2018, the number of female members of the Bermuda branch rose from 29 to 59. In the same time, the number of men fell from 83 to 77.

In addition, of the 53 holders of the IoD’s Certificate in Company Direction last year, 62 per cent were women, up by 2 per cent on 2017. In 2018, 21 of the 36 delegates who registered for modules in the CICD programme were women.

International Women’s Day is on Friday; the local IoD branch marked it by holding an event in conjunction with KPMG today. Rochelle Simons, the chairwoman of the IoD’s Bermuda branch, said: “While we have about the same number of total members year on year, the trend is clear, and has been apparent for the last five years.

“I think the rise in the number of female members and their enrolment in the professional development programme is directly in response to global calls for diversity and inclusion in the boardroom, C-suite and leadership roles generally.

“Bermuda’s business community includes large numbers of women who scale successfully in strong numbers to mid and some to senior management levels of responsibilities. These women are preparing themselves for executive leadership and director roles by undertaking formal and informal training and networking events hosted by the IoD Bermuda.”

She added: “The decline in the number of male members is associated with the fact that men have been dominant leaders of industry, director roles and IoD membership for a very long time. In fact, in 2012, branch membership showed men outnumbered women on a scale of 9:1.

“It stands to reason that some of the more senior directors are now retiring from active director service and IoD membership. What’s interesting, however, is that women are outpacing men in preparing for the opportunities created by directors exiting service.”

Peta White, senior managing director, head of North American property reinsurance at Markel, said the primary reason for joining the IoD was to help her develop her current role.

She said: “As a senior manager, I was looking for a programme that incorporated strategy and leadership courses to help me mature in my position and how to better understand from a board perspective how they strategise, how they lead and how they measure the success and longevity of a company.

“The secondary reason for joining the IoD was planning for the future, to be on a board. I have a lot to contribute and would like the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the success of an organisation.”

On the trend of an increasing number of women, she added: “The trend will continue until there is gender parity in leadership roles, in the C-suite and in the boardroom. There are credible statistics that show that companies are more successful, more profitable when they have diversity at all levels. It is hard to argue with diversity of thought and input.”

Mrs White has also completed the IoD CICD programme. She added: “It was great to see a diverse group of people across a variety of industries and the material and content was relevant and immediately applicable to each and every one of us. The finance course was best in class; it was thoughtfully presented and illuminating.”

The IoD has had a presence in Bermuda for more than 20 years. In 2012, the branch was revitalised with the mandate to be a leading authority and influencer of good corporate governance standards, education and training for current and aspiring directors of all organisations in Bermuda.

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Published Mar 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm (Updated Mar 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm)

More women joining Institute of Directors

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