Your Loss Ebook – Now Available on Kindle Devices

Download Your Loss - Kindle Edition

You can now buy Your Loss – How to Win Back Your Female Talent and download it to read on your favourite Kindle device.

The book has been reformatted so that you can refer to it on the move and take it with you wherever you are.

You don’t even need a Kindle. Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle reader software, you can refer to Your Loss from your computer, iPad, iPhone, blackberry or Android device.

Buying Your Loss this way saves you money too. Even though ebooks are subject to VAT, you save on postage, so the total cost you end up paying is just £17.99 (saving £2).

Christina Ioannidis, co-author said:

“We’re very excited about being able to offer readers around the world the ability to benefit from the learnings contained in the book through the Kindle platform. This makes Your Loss a really valuable resource, because people working in business who want to refer to the recommendations made can have them to hand on their Kindle, iPad or Blackberry.”

“The book was designed to be referred to over and over again as businesses change the way they behave and adopt the models that we suggest. Having the book literally to hand, makes this a really usable tool.”

You can download the Kindle Edition of the Book here…

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Davies Review Into Women on Boards Launched

UK listed companies in the FTSE 100 should be aiming for a minimum of 25% female board member representation by 2015, Lord Davies of Abersoch said today when launching his independent review into Women on Boards. He has recommended today in his report for government that FTSE 350 companies should be setting their own, challenging targets and expects that many will achieve a much higher figure than this minimum.

The report says that companies should set targets for 2013 and 2015 to ensure that more talented and gifted women can get into the top jobs in companies across the UK. Lord Davies also calls on chairmen to announce these goals in the next six months and Chief Executives to review the percentage of women they aim to have on their Executive Committees in 2013 and 2015.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, said:

“Over the past 25 years the number of women in full-time employment has increased by more than a third and there have been many steps towards gender equality in the workplace, with flexible working and the Equal Pay Act, however, there is still a long way to go. Currently 18 FTSE 100 companies have no female directors at all and nearly half of all FTSE 250 companies do not have a woman in the boardroom. Radical change is needed in the mindset of the business community if we are to implement the scale of change that is needed.

“This is not about aiming for a specific figure and is not just about promoting equal opportunities but it is about improving business performance. There is growing evidence to show that diverse boards are better boards, delivering financial out-performance and stock market growth.

“I have been pleased to see the huge amount of interest that this review has sparked both from individual businesses and industry groups. I hope that the recommendations I am announcing today will mark the beginning of a step-change so that more of our talented women get seats on our top boards.”

The report also calls upon The Financial Reporting Council to amend the UK Corporate Governance Code to require listed companies to establish a policy concerning boardroom diversity. This should include how they would implement such a policy, and disclose annually a summary the progress made.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“I strongly welcome Lord Davies’ report and am committed to promoting gender equality on the boards of UK listed companies. We will therefore seriously consider its recommendations.

“The report is clear that a business-led approach is the best way to increase the number of women on company boards, and we will therefore engage with business in considering his recommendations. Likewise we encourage regulators, investors and executive search firms to take forward those recommendations that fall to them.”

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May said:

“Inclusive and diverse boards benefit from fresh perspectives, new ideas and broad experience. A company with a board that reflects the people it serves is better able to understand its customers, and there is growing evidence that companies with more women on their boards outperform their male-dominated rivals.

“Women make up more than half of the population, but account for just 12.5 per cent of FTSE 100 directors. Lord Davies’ report is an important step forward in understanding why this is and what can be done about it, and I shall be considering his findings very carefully.”

Download the Davies Review here

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Diversity blind-spots could be costing corporations £200 million


CONTACT: Christina Ioannidis on, + 44 (0)7809 839 000

London, (February 23, 2011): New book Your Loss: How to Win Back your Female Talent shows how to combat this gender brain-drain.

48% of women leave companies to carve their own paths outside of corporate culture and – judging by the release of the Davies Review tomorrow into the percentage of women in the boardroom of the United Kingdom – it is clear that governments are considering legislating on corporate gender diversity.

Since women control the majority of global spending power, and female talent is shown to increase corporate profitability, why are companies still choosing to incur these tremendous losses? It is time for organisations to show due vigilance to the female brain drain and find a sustainable solution to safeguard their own future.

Drawing on their own survey and existing research in the field, Your Loss has been written by two prime examples of these ‘Lost Women’, who have left large business and are forging their futures as entrepreneurs. Christina Ioannidis, co-author of Your Loss: How to Win Back your Female Talent, and CEO of Aquitude, commented on the survey findings:

“We calculated that, to an organisation with 10,000 employees, the cost of replacing lost women could be as much as £200 million over 15 years. The international consultancy Bain and Co has concluded that if corporations lose 5% a year of their talent base for 10 years, then investment in recruitment would need to be increased by 20% (from 30-50%) in order to keep up with the losses.

The stereotyped perception is that women are leaving their corporate employers due to childcare responsibilities. However, our research has shattered that stereotype: women are delving into entrepreneurship in order to carve out their ideal jobs and follow their passions. They are taking control of their own careers whilst managing their family responsibilities. However, companies can cut their losses and redress this brain-drain, by creating Gender Savvy cultures.”


Home Depot Canada has taken one of the most significant steps towards reaching the female market. Under the tenure of the company’s president, Annette Verschuren, the retail chain grew from 19 stores with $700m annual sales to 167 stores with revenues in excess of $6bn. Women constitute over 50% of purchasers in the stores today. To achieve this mammoth growth, Verschuren had to effect a major culture change. ‘I knew women were hugely involved in home renovations and yet the female side of our business was seriously under-represented.’

Verschuren did the following:

  • Increased the number of women working in the business, so that Home Depot boasts the highest percentage of women merchants and buyers in the industry.
  • Introduced gender-intelligent training and recruited diversity-focused individuals as spokespeople.
  • Revised everything from store layout to customer service using female-centric solutions.

The book is available exclusively from

– ENDS –

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Davies Review Expected to Recommend Code of Conduct.

With just days to go until the release of the Davies Review on gender equality in the boardrooms of UK companies, more information is coming to light about what will be in the report.

It is believed that Lord Davies will  recommend to companies that at least 20 per cent of all directorships are held by women within two years. The weekend papers also quote sources that say the report will look to increase FTSE board positions held by women to 25% by 2015.

While quotas are not expected to be part of the recommendations initially, they may be introduced if stakeholders do not sign up to and implement a code of conduct.

Research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) also shows that while most managers are against quotas for senior roles, 47 per cent of female managers surveyed said they were in favour.

ILM chief executive Penny de Valk (pictured with Lord Davies) said:

“The imposition of boardroom quotas in the UK would be an admission of failure for leaders. Rather than waiting for external legislation, now is the time for employers to set voluntary targets for female representation at board and senior management level, and hold people accountable for meeting them.”

The authors of Your Loss, a book about why women leave companies believe that targets are important. Christina Ioannidis, speaking from Kuala Lumpur said:

“Without targets, no-one is held accountable. Targets are expected for sales and financial measures, so there is no reason why they can’t also be applied to the make-up of a company’s workforce and the number of women on boards. We know that there is a financial cost to businesses who don’t have a diverse representation of experience at board level. We’re looking forward to the report.”

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Davies Review Not Expected to Recommend Quotas for Women On Boards

According to reports over the weekend, the Davies Review into Women on Boards will not recommended quotas for female representation.

The report, which is due to be published on the 24th of February, may put the onus on Chairmen to justify why their boards are not as diverse as the general population and empower shareholders to demand diversity as part of good corporate governance.

The report comes at a time when the issue is being looked at by a number of governments, agencies and the media.

Women on boards grabbed headlines this week thanks to comments made by Deutsche Bank’s Josef Ackermann’s who commented that having women on company boards would make them more feminine, more “colourful and more beautiful.”

Author of Your Loss, a book about how lack of female talent at board level can impact a company’s bottom line, Christina Ioannidis said:

Mr Ackermann actually might have been reported for the sensational part of his quote, but he also said that having more women on boards is good for the “bottom line”. This is something that we believe Lord Davies will also argue in his report.

From Australia to Norway, there is evidence to suggest that the more closely company’s executives match the diversity in the community and their markets, the better the company can perform, not to mention stemming losses associated with women leaving the business.

The EU markets commissioner, Michel Barnier said last week:

“It’s not only a question of fairness. The presence of women in the leadership of a country or a region or a business is a question of good governance for me.”

More about the Davies Review into Women on Boards.

Read how women on boards helps the bottom line. Buy Your Loss

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Get Flexible: How to Retain Employees in 2011

It makes sense when you think about it: a healthy workplace is one tailored to you, so you don’t have to waste energy contorting yourself to fit in. Based on research conducted for our new book, Your Loss: How to Win Back your Female Talent, our 3-point corporate fitness plan is designed to engage the women in your business. Follow it to get your company in shape for the next generation of female talent.

A Personal Trainer

Get personal: ask her what she wants. Keeping female talent means embracing her home and family responsibilities, not paying her more to ignore them. Does she want time to become a school Governor? Make that part of the deal. Would she rather work from home when she’s snowed up or her kids are ill? That’s fine too. Showing how much better you are than the competition will inspire her loyalty. Flexible working isn’t just a phrase, make it her reality.

Make the best of your assets

If systems already exist for flexible working, make sure people really are using them. But manage expectations: make sure you don’t promise employees the world and not deliver. And work out together how you can guarantee her line manager the performance consistency he or she needs to keep their team on track. Research conducted for Your Loss revealed that reduced or flexitime schedules to balance work and family were high on the wish-list for 66% of the women in business and women on boards.

Facilitate, evaluate and reward

Optimising flexible and home-working means making sure you have the right technology and communication in place. Manage how independent projects and team work are approached to make sure your business is getting the most out of her working ours. Listen to new ideas from line managers on how to retain employees. Between you, your female talent and her line manager, set goals for 3, 6 and 9 months in the first year and if she’s excelling with this new freedom, make sure she knows you’ve noticed.

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Review and Recommend ‘Your Loss’ on GoodReads

If you are like me and you love books of all kinds, not just great business books, then you might like GoodReads.

This site links in with sites like Facebook and Twitter and allows you to share your recommendations and comments about books you have read, books you are reading and books you want to read.

If you’re already a member and have purchased a copy of Your Loss, then we’d love your comments and reviews. You can also recommend Your Loss to others you know.

Your Loss – How to Win Back Your Female Talent on GoodReads

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Women in business take control: Move from great workers to great proactive networkers

‘Believing someone else is going to take care of you is really risky. As a woman I recommend that you should always be able to take care of yourself. If you are a mother, make sure that you can take care of your kids because, in the end, you can count on no one else but yourself.’.

This is a quotation of one of our interviewees for Your Loss: How to Win Back your Female Talent, Emily Walker is a highly successful corporate executive turned entrepreneur. She rose to the top of the corporate ranks and is now a running her own international consultancy.

I am drawn by the power of this quote. It instantly negates the traditional, stereotyped image that we have as a girls growing up who will “find their prince charming who will look after them”. Today’s reality is very different. Women have to break down barriers in all walks of life, and in every level. Boys don’t go through the same challenges. They are encouraged from day 1 to “fight it out” and “win”, to “compete”, to become “leaders”. Women, on the other hand have been reinforced subservient roles and it falls squarely up to them to break those mindsets and, at the same time, to take control of their career.

To be smart in how to play the game of business. Here are some of the key tenets I always recommend:

Be proactive

Women tend to focus on being excellent at what they do and feel a sense of duty to deliver and offer support to all around. They tend to work away unnoticed, driving themselves into the ground and, of course, are disappointed when they cannot fulfill everyone’s, and most importantly, their own very high, expectations. Women need to be proactive about their career. Be intelligent – what will you need to do to get to where you want faster, smarter and with less effort?

Have courage: Speak out!

Women are great workers. They are the silent holders of the fort. While men are keen networkers, women believe ‘my work will speak for itself’. We have news for you: it very seldom does. You must reject what you learned at school or at home that ‘girls should not brag or speak out’. If you don’t talk about your successes, who will? If you do not voice your discontent, how will your manager or organisation know the challenges you are facing?

I sincerely applaud the women who start women’s networks and other such affinity groups in corporations because, at the very least, they have brought to the discussion the culture in which women find themselves and the challenges they face in business.

Sell yourself

Have the courage to ask for what you are worth, ‘I contribute X,Y and Z to the business. I would expect A in return.’ If your line manager or sponsor will not listen, move on. Enlightened organisations will react and will support you. If they don’t, they simply do not deserve you. You can then move on, with no love lost. If we do not raise our voices or vote with our well-heeled shoes, corporations will not wake up to the stifling cultures that are prevailing in their businesses.

Network outside of your organisation too

Women tend to be focused on their own working environment and are excellent internal networkers. The common held assumption (and I held it too during both of my redundancies!) is that your employers will look after you. However in turbulent times, or when redundancy occurs, the absence of a good external network is keenly felt – by you and only you.

To mitigate that, you must build external networks to ease your transition to pastures new. My experience? A former boss became a client and I was able to contribute to his business as a free-lance consultant following my second redundancy in 2002. On the back of this experience, I have helped hundreds of women to be strategic in building networks, within and outside their organisations. You need to build that network and promote your own, strong personal brand around your area of expertise.

As the quote above suggests, if you want recognition, flexibility and to ‘feel’ engaged with your work but also able to fulfil your family obligations, you and only you can do this. You need to change your own mindset before you can take over your own careers. When you do, you won’t look back. Emily Walker certainly didn’t.

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Video: Christina Ioannidis Talks to Emirates News

Christina spoke at the Women in Leadership Conference in Abu Dhabi in November 2010. As a  result, Dubai One TV invited her to their studios to discus the need for Gender Savvy talent management and its benefits to the bottom line.


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Men: it is not about the money; if you want to retain women in your business think about your business culture

According to a new survey by Technisource, men and women have similar outlooks on job and career opportunities in IT; however, they have key differences in how they perceive the metrics of success in their IT careers.

The greatest disparities centred around how women and men view their compensation, career progression and flexibility within the IT field:

74% of women felt that female IT workers face a different set of career challenges than their male counterparts (48%).

78% of the women polled said they don’t believe compensation is equivalent between them and their male colleagues. But almost half of the men surveyed believed compensation was equal between the genders.

More women than men saw being challenged and flexibility as important factors for career satisfaction, whereas more men felt compensation was important in their career satisfaction.

This correlates with the global research and survey we undertook as the basis of our book: Your Loss, how to win back your female talent. Whilst our research was not sector specific, the women how chose to turn their backs on their successful careers to then become entrepreneurs highlighted that:

Passion at work is key

Home-in on what they enjoy working on and what really “turns them on” intellectually. Sounds like management 101, but surveys on engagement levels worldwide highlight that this basic management principles is clearly overlooked.

Foster a flexible culture

Move beyond the traditional “flexi-working”; make flexibility in the career path (i.e. non-linear), offer flexible ways of cutting the work-pie so that individuals focus on the areas of their strength. Most importantly, actively work against the stigmatizing and stereotyping that takes place when parents (of either gender) asks to work from a different location other than the corporate HQ.

Inspire Innovation

48% of our research base highlighted that women were eager to have opportunities to be more creative, to incorporate their diverse outlook on business issues to commercial realities. However, corporate cultures stifled that innate creativity; this is why they endeavoured the path of entrepreneurship.

Support Sustainability

Linked to the desire to have a flexible, even scenic career path, the women we spoke to were advocates of an experiential talent management process, with diversity of learning experiences forming the backbone of their corporate development. Why should employees not be encouraged to take a year off for a sabbatical, or to work for a cause they care for (or even, have children) and the learnings from these experiences to be brought back into the workplace?

If you are a man looking to build the talent base that will create your future competitive advantage, and save yourself the millions of dollars that losing your top female talent is costing your business, you can discover the best retention strategies here.

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