Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Dame Barbara Stocking, Former CEO of Oxfam

Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Dame Barbara Stocking, Former CEO of Oxfam

Article excerpt

The world would work better if more women were in leadership positions. Some 70% of the world's poorest people are women. It's a real problem and you need a woman's perspective to change things.

I grew up in a typical working class household. My father was a postman and my mother a housewife. When I was starting out, people seemed to get jobs more easily if they had good connections. I saw myself as an outsider, but it meant I had to try harder.

I was an only child. My parents had terrible difficulty having children - my mother had seven miscarriages. I grew up in Rugby and the difference in resources between my state school and the public school made me think about inequality. That's probably why I ended up working for Oxfam.

If I could have done anything differently, I would have stepped into certain emergency situations sooner. A few years ago, one of our aid workers was kidnapped in Chad while I was on holiday. He was released after 10 days and we had a management team dealing with it, but I should have come back. There are times when the chief executive just has to be there.

I earned pounds 119,000 the year I left. …

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