Gender balance on Runnymede’s Senior Leadership team

Runnymede Borough Council is happy to announce that following recent appointments, its Senior Leadership Team has for the first time achieved an equal balance of women and men.

The Senior Leadership Team is made up of the ten Corporate Heads who run the ten Council service areas. They are responsible for delivering the priorities set by Councillors and leading the development of the organisation and the way services are provided for the public.

The equal balance has been achieved following the recruitment of Helen Clark as Corporate Head of Environmental Services who joined the Council on 14 March. In addition, the appointment of a new Assistant Chief Executive, Amanda Fahey in January has added to the complement of senior women at the authority.

Fiona Skene, Corporate Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development said, “We recruit based entirely on the skills, experience and culture fit of our applicants, but nevertheless, we’re so pleased to see that our inclusive and flexible environment has had the desired effect of making Runnymede a great place for women to work and thrive in senior roles.

“We have developed roles and ways of operating where women clearly feel they want to work. We’re pleased with the equal mix at the top of our organisation, and we’ll continue to develop employment policies and arrangements which make us an attractive employer to women and people from all backgrounds and at all levels. Our aim is to develop talent and ensure cultural change happens from within, so transformation occurs organically.”

The Council has been working in an agile way since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and this year confirms permanent arrangements to allow most employees to work at home for two days a week, and in our offices for three.  Runnymede also operates a core hours scheme, allows flexitime, and recently introduced a new policy to support carers. The Council is mid-way through an upgrade of all its technology, systems, and computer equipment, to give employees the most modern tools needed to do their job.

Amanda Fahey, Assistant Chief Executive said: “We’re particularly pleased to see female leadership in areas that have traditionally been male dominated, such as IT and economic development. What’s also important to recognise is that women in senior roles are great role models to younger or junior colleagues. I would encourage women across the public sector and in our own Council to look at what women around them are achieving and delivering and set their sights high.”

Our other female Senior Leadership Team members are Alex Williams, Corporate Head of Assets and Regeneration, Linda Norman, Corporate Head of Customer, Digital and Collection Services, Fiona Skene, Corporate Head of Human Resources Organisational Development, and Rachel Raynaud, Corporate Head of Planning Policy and Economic Development.

Paul Turrell, Chief Executive of Runnymede Borough Council said: “There is no reason why there should not be gender equality on our Senior Leadership team, and I’m very pleased we have achieved this balance now. Runnymede Borough Council should be an employer where everyone can thrive and make the most of their abilities. We will work hard towards this aim.”

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has said that having women in positions of leadership in local and central government is vital, as many issues that disproportionally affect women rather than men, can be overlooked in a predominately male environment.

Runnymede Borough Council publishes its gender pay-gap report annually which you can find on the Government website.

In 2020-21 women occupied 46.1% of the highest paid jobs and 43.8% of the lowest paid jobs. In 2021-22 women occupied 49.5% of the highest paid jobs and 45% of the lowest paid jobs.

The Council aims to treat everyone with fairness, respect and dignity and will not accept discrimination at any level of employment. Our equalities policy can be found on our website.

Published: 21 March 2022