About this episode

Michael speaks to Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, the life peer and new President of the British Chambers of Commerce. As the first Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company, Baroness McGregor-Smith has earned a reputation as a fearless leader, and on the challenges of creating fairness and equality in the workplace, she is a trailblazer; having pioneered the McGregor-Smith Review in 2017 on race in the workplace. She discusses her drive to never give up, the importance of living for the moment and why she believes business can be a force for change in the world.

Baroness McGregor-Smith CBE

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE was appointed President of the British Chambers of Commerce in March 2020. She was the CEO of Mitie Group PLC from 2007 to 2016, the first Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company. During the decade she spent at Mitie, the firm increased its turnover by £1.5bn, which passed the £2bn mark for the first time in 2012. She was nominated as a Conservative life peer in August 2015 and awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to business and promoting diversity. She previously chaired the Women’s Business Council and in 2017, conducted the McGregor-Smith Review into race in the workplace.

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Scrapbook

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Ruby McGregor-Smith when she was chief executive of the £1 billion outsourcing group Mitie

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Ruby speaking at the FT Women at the Top 2019, 'My path to the top'

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Ruby at a panel event on Succession Planning, the progression of women in business, November 2017

Lockdown inspiration

WHAT IS A BOOK THAT HAS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. 

WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING IN LOCKDOWN?

Netflix documentaries , the one that I found that really shook me was Athlete A

IN ONE SENTENCE, DESCRIBE YOUR NEW NORMAL.

My new normal has not changed!

WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

The founder CEO at Serco, Richard White, who inspired me to do more with my career and believed in my capabilities.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST TIP FOR LIFE?

Never take yourself too seriously and just keep going , whatever obstacles are put in your way, and keep learning

TOP 5 LOCKDOWN TRACKS

Human – The Killers; Temptation – New Order; Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol; Fix You – Coldplay; Friday I’m in Love – The Cure

Have a listen to the Change Makers Lockdown Playlist here

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