Who we are.

The Gender Index is led by a steering group comprising of UK business leaders championing gender equality and especially female leaders.

The steering group:

Julie Baker

Nominated and shortlisted for the 2018 Champion for Women Award, Julie leads Natwest’s diversity and inclusion policies where she is responsible for driving the development, communication and implementation of the Enterprise Strategy for Enterprise Education, Women in Business, Social Enterprise and BAME business owners, disabled entrepreneurs and ex-forces personnel, improving business success for those from all backgrounds.

Chair of the Women in Business All Party Parliamentary sub-group on Access to Finance and has previously chaired the BBA Diversity & Inclusion council.

Julie Kapsalis

Julie is Chair of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership – a business led partnership that works across the public, private and third sectors to determine local economic priorities and investment. She is also Managing Director at Chichester College Group – covering five campuses and around 22,000 learners.

Julie has worked in economic development for over 20 years with a particular focus on enterprise, skills and social inclusion. She served as an advisor to the UK Government’s task force on women’s enterprise and has recently contributed to the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship including a pioneering project to gender disaggregate data.

Julie is a Trustee of Worthing Theatres and Museum and a Board Member of Gatwick Diamond Business.

John Anderson

John is Head of SME Growth & Board Development at Strathclyde Business School and Programme Director for the ScaleUp Institute endorsed Growth Advantage Programme.

He is a specialist in entrepreneurship and growth and brings close to 30 years of personal and professional experience working with the leaders of growth companies to his role at Strathclyde and as Non-Executive Chair and Director in growing businesses.

He has considerable experience in working with ambitious female founders and currently is Chair of two female-led growth companies in Scotland.

John Cushing

John is the CEO of mnAI. An ardent tech enthusiast, he specialises in fast-growth digital companies and is an advisor to the Silicon Valley Bank growth-stage advisory panel.

Prior to this he was a mentor for the American accelerator, TechStars, worked for the corporate venture capital team at the John Lewis Partnership and is a non-exec director/chair to early-stage technology companies.

Supporting inclusion and diversity amongst entrepreneurs has been a lifelong passion, central to which is the availability and access to finance and guidance for female founders.

Lee Hopley

Lee is currently Director of Economic Insight and Research at UK Finance, and is responsible the collection and dissemination of data relating to the support the finance sector provides to business and households.

She is also responsible for the programme of research and analysis which informs UK Finance’s policy and representation activities. Lee’s career has focused on understanding business performance and the impact of policy on decision-making and outcomes, she was previously Deputy Director at the Enterprise Research Centre and Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation (now Make UK).

Stephen Roper

Stephen is the Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School and Director of the Enterprise Research Centre an independent research centre which conducts policy relevant research on SME growth and development.

Prior to joining WBS, Stephen was Professor of Business Innovation at Aston Business School and before that he was Assistant Director of the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, Belfast. Stephen holds a BA Hons in Economics from the University of Durham, an MPil in Economics from Oxford University and a PhD in Economics from LSE.