Sarah Luxford, Director at Nexec Leaders, made the Top 25 of the 2017 Smith & Williamson Power 100. The Smith & Williamson Power 100 shines a spotlight on often unsung heroes who play an active role in supporting the entrepreneurial community in the UK.
From start-ups to scale-ups, it includes those who help shape policy, champion, mentor, support and promote entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Sarah was recognised for her support in driving gender equality in tech in addition to co-creating the fastest growing tech cluster in Greater London, Croydon Tech City.
A celebration was held where Sarah was invited to take part in a VIP Panel alongside Founder of YO! Sushi Simon Woodroffe, CEO of New Entrepreneur Foundation Neeta Patel, The Start Up Coach Carl Reader and Founder of Social Chain Steven Bartlett.
“I’m humbled and thrilled to be amongst a list of so many figures I personally admire and have been an inspiration to me. Innovation & Entrepreneurship is at the heart of all business origin and I’m delighted to play a role whether supporting introductions or talent management and development”.
On March 9th 2017 at Here East, Sarah Luxford in her role as Co-founder of Tech London Advocates Women in Tech, hosted a room of 350 movers and shakers in Tech in an energetic and interactive working group titled “Tomorrow’s Tech Success: Shattering uniformity & embracing change” designed to drive change in the diversity agenda.
Reflecting the scale of tech’s diversity problem, half (49.2 per cent) of London’s technology sector believes the industry is actively biased against women. This is according to research conducted by Tech London Advocates, an independent network of more than 4,300 tech experts, leaders and professionals in the capital – of which Nexec Leaders co-drives the WomenInTech working group.
As the geopolitical, economic, social and technological aspects of our world continue to evolve rapidly, leaders now more than ever depend on their workforce for agility and speed of responsiveness to competitive forces.
Creating an environment that encourages transparency, trust, creativity and a willingness to take risks can only truly be achieved by prioritising diversity. Shattering uniformity and being cognizant of how ‘difference’ fits in allows organisations to stay relevant to customers and drive innovation.
Guests heard an inspiring keynote from The Rt Hon Matt Hancock Minister of State for Digital and Culture and participated in a lively transformational workshop led by Co-Founder Nikki Watkins. A VIP panel then followed led by Sarah which included insights from corporates and digital start-ups amongst whom including leading figures from Facebook, BAE Systems & BrainLabs sharing insights into how they have broken down barriers and reaped the benefits of an inclusive workplace.
Sarah Luxford comments “Diversity translates into profits. Companies that are more gender and ethnically diverse perform better financially. Most leaders recognise this fact yet this is not translating into systematic change linking talent attraction, development & retention. Change is hard. That’s why we have created a ‘how to’ – a clear outline of questions individuals, teams and businesses should be asking of themselves whilst providing clear actions they can implement to stride forward. Things have to change. They can’t afford not to.’
The list was originally launched to showcase the number of great women involved in the IT industry in technology and digital roles.
Taking top spot on the 2016 list is TeenTech CEO Maggie Philbin, who has tirelessly campaigned to give all young people an equal opportunity to express their talents and creativity through technology.
The 50 women featured on this list, as well as Computer Weekly’s Rising Stars and attendees to Computer Weekly’s annual Women in IT event, act as role models to the wider industry in promoting diversity for the technology sector.
Nexec Leaders are proud to sponsor & support TLA WOMEN IN TECH’s array of events and activities that set the tone for this important week – celebrating and bringing awareness to the critical role diversity plays in our thriving tech ecosystem in London.
At the start of London Technology Week TLA WOMEN IN TECH in partnership with SVC2UK and the LSE Elite Programme will conduct the Open Ceremony at the London Stock Exchange marking the start of trading on the world’s most international market. There will be a Champagne reception, executive leadership workshop and two high profile panels focused on diversity in larger corporations and fund raising for female led founders and CEO’s.
Nexec Director and co-founder of TLA WOMEN IN TECH Sarah Luxford commented “I’m delighted that TLA WOMEN IN TECH has been given this fantastic platform during London Technology Week to help raise awareness, influence adoption and encourage advocacy of diversity in the workplace. There is much to celebrate and be proud of within the London tech scene, but we mustn’t be complacent. That is why we are delivering concrete actions & recommendations that will help shift attitudes and address the bias that still pervades in our sector. “
The annual Technology showcase for London, London Technology Week has appointed Sarah Luxford as an official Ambassador. Sarah will be joining a collection of some of the most influential global tech leaders representing the entire ecosystem. From start-ups to investors, entrepreneurs to corporates and academia to government, her role will be to host a number of high profile events and to support the development of human capital and diversity programmes.
Sarah Luxford commented “London Tech Week is an incredible platform that helps celebrate & cultivate London as the true global powerhouse of tech innovation that it is. I’ll be looking particularly to drive awareness, adoption and advocacy around gender equality in the industry in addition to guidance for scale-ups”
Fuelled by the desire to drive action & change the industry for an equal gender footing, Nexec Leaders Sarah Luxford and Nikki Watkins founded Tech London Advocates’ WOMENINTECH working group. In a very short time their initiative has grown into to a 900-advocate strong movement consisting of a mix of entrepreneurs, digital specialists, government advisors and international corporate professionals.
As business leaders come to understand the organisational benefits of a diverse workforce and the need to turn thoughts into actions – TLA WOMENINTECH are here to support the ecosystem, now both off and online.
MD of Nexec Leaders Peter Gillingwater says: “Diversity is no longer a subject businesses can afford to overlook – it must be built into the business plan as a strategic objective. We are delighted to support the TLA WOMENINTECH working group and stand by our own commitment as international executive headhunters to source a diverse candidate base for every search campaign”.
Tech London Advocates WomeninTech supported by Nexec Leaders & Co-Founded by Nexec Director Sarah Luxford, descend on London City Hall’s Living Room for their final working group of the year focusing on the insights and tips to pave our way to the Boardroom.
In the last few years we have seen a shift with business no longer asking why women’s representation is so important but how they can make gender diversity a reality. This is a positive step forward, however the reality is that progress in women’s representation at executive level remains woeful. A recent report by Cranfield showed that women’s representation at Executive Committee level in the FTSE 100 was 19.4% of Exec roles, similarly look at the number of female CEO’ within the FTSE100 – a grand total of 7.
If we are to see sustained gender diversity at the top of business then more must be done to ensure women progress through the executive pipeline – something of which Nexec Leaders takes very seriously as a duty to the tech industry.
That is why On Monday 5th December, Tech London Advocates WomeninTech supported by Nexec Leaders & Co-Founded by Nexec Director Sarah Luxford, descended on City Hall’s Living Room for their final working group of the year focusing on the insights and tips to pave our way to the Boardroom.
The Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, warmly kicked off the evening welcoming guests and providing insight into CityHall’s own gender equality initiatives whilst making it clear Diversity is key on the Mayor’s agenda for London. We then jumped into a lively panel of reflections & recommended actions, hosted by the Queen of Startups, Bindi Karia, joined by Anne de Kerckhove (CEO, IronGroup), Martina King (CEO, Featurespace), Rory Stirling (Partner, BGF Ventures), Susanne Given (Chair, Made.com) and Leanne Taylor (UKI Board, SAP).
An executive development session then followed led by Nikki Watkins homing in on Executive Presence, how we walk, talk and interact to align with ‘our brand’.
MD of Peter Gillingwater comments “The executive talent pipeline is something all companies should be consistently reviewing whilst implementing actions & procedures to support a diverse workforce. Nexec Leaders are proud to support TLA Women in Tech and offer talent solutions from executive search to talent development that compliments the TLA WomeninTech mission.”
So, as we drive through 2017, What Impact Do You Want To Make?