The New Year honours list has for the first time featured the names of more women than men – It’s only taken a 100 years but a notable achievement nonetheless! Indeed, the proportion of higher honours awarded to women has doubled in the last 10 years – things are undoubtedly looking up.
Among those women awarded the higher honours was Alison Carnwath. Dame Alison is currently Chairman of Land Securities plc, the largest property company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Dame Alison is perhaps most known to the public for her robust stance against excessive bonus payments. Her opposition to Barclays Bank Chairman Bob Diamond’s £2.7 million bonus was made public when she spoke to a parliamentary committee in 2013.
Under Dame Alison’s leadership, Land Securities became one of the first property companies to restart development following the recession. This has included notable projects in London Victoria and in Leeds.
Graduating from the University of Reading in 1975, she worked in investment banking and corporate finance for 20 years before pursuing a portfolio career. During this time she became the first female Director of J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Alison also held the positions of a Senior Partner of Phoenix Securities and Managing Director, New York at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Alison is one of the busiest directors in the FTSE 100 with roles in corporations in the UK, Europe and the US. She was named in the Times Power 100 as one of the “top 100” most influential directors in the UK. Her other Non-Executive positions include Zurich Insurance Group, PACCAR Inc and Isis Equity Partners, where she is Chairman of the Management Board.
In recognition of her tremendous achievements, she was awarded an Honoury Doctorate in 2010 from the University of Reading.
Alongside her professional career, Alison is a Patron of the British Library and regularly contributes to the charity Speakers for Schools.
Dame Alison Carwath is a fine role model for women in business, being one of the very few to chair a FTSE 100 company. For a highly distinguished career, she is without doubt a most worthy recipient of a higher honour.