· People

Susan Vinnicombe, professor of women and leadership, Cranfield School of Management

Susan Vinnicombe's research interests focus on the lack of women in leadership, specifically on corporate boards; women's leadership styles and the issues involved in women developing their executive careers.

Vinnicombe was founder director of the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders from 1999 to 2016 and the Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Endowed Chair in Women's Leadership at Simmons College, Boston, USA from 2013-2016. She and her co-authors produce the annual Female FTSE Board Report, which she launched in 1999. This is regarded as the premier research resource on women directors in the UK and is renowned globally.

Vinnicombe has written ten books and over one hundred articles, reports and conference papers. Her latest book Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers (Eds. S Vinnicombe, R.J. Burke, S. Blake-Beard and L.L. Moore) was published by Edward Elgar in 2013.

Vinnicombe has consulted for organisations in over 20 countries including the US, Ireland, India, the UAE, Philippines, Trinidad, Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand, on how best to attract, retain and develop women executives. Vinnicombe is regularly interviewed by the press, on the radio and on television for her expert views on women directors, and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences.

She is the founder and chair of the judges for Women in the City Awards, and is a judge for the Sunday Times best NEDs of the year awards. She is vice patron of the charity Working Families. Vinnicombe was a member of the Davies Steering Committee from 2010 – 2015, is a member of the advisory board of Sir Philip Hampton/Dame Helen Alexander’s Review on the lack of women in the executive pipeline, and that of Sir John Parker’s Review on the lack of ethnicity on FTSE 100 boards.

Vinnicombe was elected to fellow of the British Academy of Management in 2013. She has been honoured by The International Alliance of Women (TIAW) in 2013 when she was awarded the TIAW World of Difference 100 Award 2013, which recognises those who have made a significant contribution to the economic empowerment of women. In 2016 she was made a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Management and honoured by the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Washington as a woman who has ‘made a difference’ in the world. She was also named in HR magazine's HR Most Influential Thinkers 2016, and was awarded the British Academy of Management’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Vinnicombe was awarded an OBE for her Services to Diversity in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2005 and subsequently awarded a CBE for her Services to Gender Equality in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2014.

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