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What's Age Got To Do With It?

What's age got to do with it?


It’s that time of the year again, when Strictly fever takes over our Saturday nights and we succumb to its glitz and glamour.

A new round of fresh-faced dancing wannabes have taken to the stage to delight and surprise us – and none more so than Debbie McGee.


The former magician’s assistant, and wife to the late Paul Daniels, wowed everyone on Saturday with her slick dance moves alongside partner Giovanni Pernice.


Her paso doble wowed the judges so much she went straight into second place on the leaderboard, just one point behind the favourite Aston Merrygold, of JLS fame.


But why were we so surprised? Why couldn’t a woman of ‘her age’ – a paltry 58 – be expected to be that good?


Age is no barrier to achieving greatness. And neither is sex.


Women in business face this same judgement, and we at Blackswan are actively promoting equality as it’s something we believe still remains out of reach.


Blackswan believe that the drive for gender diversity should not just be about getting more jobs for women just for the sake of it, but it should be a transformation with a foundation of commercial strength.


One of the great things that has emerged from the Davies Report (2011) is that businesses that have more women on their boards are actually proving to be more successful commercially and financially than those companies with male only boards.


Unfortunately companies in the FTSE 100 and 250 are still male dominated with a third of all boards being male only. The report has raised many questions on subjects such as childcare, work-life balance and flexible working.


It is clear that we need more female role models in business and more women entrepreneurs; the more we have the more we will be able to assist growth. One factor which would have a major impact on women in the workplace and social system is women mentoring women. 



In his report, Lord Davies believes we are eventually seeing a culture change taking place at the very heart of British business on how women are seen within the workforce. In the current climate it is essential that British businesses benefit from the skills, abilities and insights of a whole population, not just a portion.


In order to create lasting change the next few years are crucial and businesses need to build on and consolidate progress to date, and maintain momentum in order to make a positive difference to lives and careers of women in the UK.


So Debbie, we salute you. Your efforts on Saturday did not go unnoticed, not because of your age, not because of your sex, but because of your undeniable talent. We hope you go all the way.