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Ethics and Values – Responsible leadership and the importance of Women on Boards WIBF – Women on Boards Forum 20 April 2011. Professor Roger Steare Corporate Philosopher, Cass Business School. Kathryn Riley MD, Durance Ltd. Flow of the Evening.

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Ethics and Values – Responsible leadership and the importance of Women on BoardsWIBF – Women on Boards Forum20 April 2011

Professor Roger Steare

Corporate Philosopher, Cass Business School

Kathryn Riley

MD, Durance Ltd

flow of the evening
Flow of the Evening
  • Doing the women’s thing – context for an ethical dilemma
  • Sharing my experience
  • Budge Over – business case for women
  • What\'s the business case for ethics?
  • Moral DNA profile
  • Responsible leadership and building a culture of integrity
  • Q and A’s
what has happened to hope
What has happened to HOPE?
  • 1908 – WSPU
  • 1970’s – EPOC
    • 2007, “Mind the Gap”, London pay gender gap = 23%, top 10% of earners =23%
    • Equal Pay not likely to be achieved until 2067!
  • 1980 – founding of WIB
  • 1991 – Opportunity 2000
  • Recent…..Tyson and Higgs Review 2003, FTSE Cross Mentoring Programme, 2003 - 30% Chairmen\'s Club, Lord Davies Report recommendation on targets for Women on Boards……..

HOPE is somewhat sceptical

budge over
Budge Over
  • Talent Sustainability
  • 3 women on the Board boosts performance by more than 40%
  • Best ideas come from work teams that mix men and women
  • Equal gender split – more likely to experiment, share knowledge and fulfil tasks
  • Even mix – psychologically safe communications climate and self-confidence among members – leads to fertile ground for innovation

You go to an ATM and it gives you £200 instead of the £100 you keyed in. What do most people do in this situation?

  • If this is an integrity test which answer(s) are preferred by men and which by women?
  • a. Keep the money because it’s the bank’s fault
  • b. Return the money because it’s theft if I keep it
  • c. Return the money because it belongs to other people
  • d. Return the money because I believe in honesty



Ethic of Obedience- what’s right is following orders- consequences are reward or punishment- external driver of behaviour



Ethic of Care

  • what’s right is what’s best for all of us
  • moral values of humility, love and fairness
  • interactivedriver of behaviour (relationships)
  • builds community integrity



d. Ethic of Reason-what’s right is what I/we judge is right- moral values of wisdom, self-discipline- character and judgement- personal integrity- internal driver of behaviour


the dna of morality
The DNA of Morality
  • Humanity is an empathic, social species
  • We are born, survive and achieve well being through love, fairness and wisdom
  • Functional human communities must first be based on an ethic of care, like family and friendship.
  • Women carry the DNA and neurology for greater empathy (oxytocin, vasopressin, more receptors)


the dna of sustainable business
The DNA of Sustainable Business
  • A sustainable economic purpose AND a human community of belonging (PWC - Trust the behavioural challenge)
  • Most businesses are small family businesses and endure for generations (92% in the EU)
  • The modern corporation is a dysfunctional and failing economic construct based on a series of ideological beliefs rather than objective scientific evidence (dot-com bubble, banking crisis, big oil)
  • Time for a Spring Uprising?