Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search firm, has added Google and Sage as lead partners on Rebus, an industry-wide mentoring initiative to fast-track senior women across the UK technology sector.
Mentors from more than 50 leading UK technology companies have so far pledged support, including Vodafone, TalkTalk, ARM Holdings, NVIDIA, SAP and Blackberry. Rebus was launched in October with founding partners Odgers Berndtson, Avanade and BT, and already has over 60 mentors for events in 2020.
“The readiness of big players in tech like Google and Sage to take a lead in mentoring female leaders is extremely encouraging,” said Holly Addison, Partner and Head of Consumer Technology at Odgers Berndtson, and co-founder of Rebus. “Our focus is firmly on women in leadership and senior management roles, aiming to help them navigate the path to board level. Having that self-belief can make all the difference.”
Rebus has scheduled up to eight mentoring events next year, with the first taking place in late February. They will follow the successful speed-mentoring format developed by other mentoring initiatives supported by Odgers Berndtson, notably ‘Plan B’, rolled out in 2018 across the hospitality and leisure sector. Plan B now has backing from over 150 companies and recently won an industry award.
Rebus aims to provide women who want to be considered for top executive and board roles in technology with objective advice and guidance from experienced mentors, to help build their confidence and achieve their ambitions. There is no cost to the programme and no barrier to entry, which can be particularly valuable for women working in smaller companies or with fewer resources or role models.
Hugh Dickerson, Senior Industry Head at Google said : “I am very excited to be a part of the Rebus programme as Google understands the importance of ensuring that a business' senior team best reflects the diversity of the consumers they serve and how supporting women to reach their true potential is a critical component in this endeavour".
Debbie Wall, EVP of Sage Foundation, Diversity & Inclusion commented, “Sage are passionate about developing our talent throughout our business and see Rebus as a great opportunity to ensure our female talent experience high-quality mentoring, advice and motivation to develop their careers with us and ascend to senior positions within the business”
The launch of Rebus follows the publication earlier this year of a global study by Odgers Berndtson, Women Leaders in Technology, based on data from almost 1,000 senior appointments in the five years to January 2019. It showed that whilst women doubled their share of top appointments and narrowed the earnings gap in this period, they trail men in earnings and on top specialist and commercial roles.