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Progressing your female talent to senior roles


Event Information

At the WISE Conference in 2016 we held a panel discussion to explore how companies could develop and promote their female talent to ensure that they had credible and available female leaders to take on the most senior management and executive roles within the business. This Knowledge Sharing Event builds on this topic to explore those components of the Ten Steps that can influence this final stage of the talent pipeline.

The session will be hosted by WISE members and conference sponsors Airbus at their Filton site, near Bristol. We will hear more about the challenges and barriers to achieving success as well as looking at initiatives WISE members have introduced to overcome these. Plus there will be the opportunity for attendees to network and exchange their own best practices and experiences.


Birkbeck University

Viviana Meschitti, Research Fellow in Management at Birkbeck University, will discuss the evidence regarding the challenges women meet along their career progression, and especially when they wish to access top positions in their institution. There will be particular focus on organisations as gendered places; the role of unconscious gender bias; the gendered division of labour; work-life balance issues; the relevance of networking; glass ceiling and glass cliff; strategies to get more women to the top. Viviana Meschitti is a Research Fellow in Management at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is working on the European project TRIGGER about the underrepresentation of women in science. She has a longstanding experience in studying and addressing gender inequality, built in the UK and previously in Switzerland, where she has worked in the framework of the Federal Programme for Equal Opportunities at Universities. She is especially interested in the topics of horizontal and vertical segregation of women, and mentoring as an instrument to enhance women’s careers.

NHS England - Fellowships for future leaders

Despite good gender balance in their young healthcare scientist intake NHS England were still seeing the % of women advancing to senior roles in the profession drop away at mid-career. Working with WISE they have taken a creative approach to boosting the profile and confidence of talented female scientists and created the CSO’s WISE Fellowship.

The Deputy Chief Scientific Officer Fiona Carragher and Dr Alexandra Milsom will share their thoughts on launching the programme and their reflections as they recruit for the second-year intake. Is this a model that might work for your company or sector?


Claire Smith, H.O Filton Plant Engineering

I joined Airbus as a Direct Entry Graduate in 1997. Since then I have worked within engineering with fuel system installation being my background discipline.
I have spent many years working on the A400M programme developing the design, supporting the aircraft in the FAL as part of the MAP team and now supporting wing assembly in the Filton Plant as the Head of Engineering.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Airbus so far!

Gosha Barzowska, Fatigue & Damage Tolerance Engineer

Changed from a career in HR to aerospace engineering through an undergraduate apprenticeship scheme currently working as a Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Engineer on Airbus’s most successful aircraft programme - Single Aisle. Two of her recent achievements are winning a top prize at national finals of the EEF Final Year Higher Level Apprentice award in 2017 and obtaining a professional registration through Engineering Council UK/Royal Aeronautical Society as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).

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