Gender Equality Awards 2016 - Inclusive Leader Award: Gender Champion - Procter & Gamble

This award is for a senior executive who has made a remarkable contribution to championing gender balance and equality of opportunity in her / his organisation. It recognises an individual who has shown vision, leadership and enduring commitment to enabling female talent resulting in tangible and lasting culture change.

Geraldine Huse, Vice President, Sales


Geraldine’s vision was to challenge the status quo by creating a gender-diverse organisation and putting accountability for diversity in the hands of leadership. She aims to champion women’s skills and expertise through strategic initiatives to create a culture of diverse thinking and working styles to help promote women to top positions.

Managers are expected to actively show accountability for their actions, for example, showing support for parents with a reduced work schedule. She role models this not only with her direct team but to the entire organisation.


Geraldine conducted focus groups for male and female employees on barriers and biases to be overcome and developed action plans to address these. The plans have included interventions to drive aspiration and confidence amongst 30 top high potential women, including leadership encouragement, identifying talent early, long term career planning, one-to-one mentoring and identifying role models and case studies.

Through Lean In Circles, Geraldine established there was a large confidence gap between men and women. She set up ‘Confidence Training’ as a result in order to retain and develop top talent, which in turn helps the organisation drive diversity of thought. Geraldine also established ‘mentoring up’ to help managers support gender diversity as a key priority for career and succession planning and has formally mentored over 50 people in the last 10 years.

Geraldine championed ‘return to work’ schemes throughout the organisation and the ‘Inclusive Leadership’ events and training, which were attended by 300 employees, ensuring both men and women are aware of Procter & Gamble’s approach to promoting talent.

Geraldine also championed dedicated time on D&I in sales leadership team meetings and mandatory sharing of case studies on how other sales leaders have driven progress. Geraldine has championed the use of flexible work schedules by reducing work schedules to allow female leaders to reach senior levels.



Geraldine has openly sold the business case for diversity to all levels and showed very clearly how results and performance have improved.

  • Geraldine’s initiatives have led to 60 women out of 120 at Senior Manager level and a 20% increase in female representation at entry level. Between 2005 and 2015, Procter & Gamble has gone from 0% to 50% female representation at Board level and 7% to 50% at Senior Manager level.
  • In the sales discipline, there is now a 50/50 split at senior level and there has been a 5% increase in sales results with gender balanced teams.
  • ‘Confidence Training’ is now being rolled out across the UK and Geraldine is developing it further. Geraldine is planning to tailor her programmes and initiatives by culture and geography to maximise the buy-in from leadership and create another gender of gender champions.