Announcing the top 100 Women in Trade Association – the Powerlist!
Today is International Women’s Day and it is with great pleasure that we launch the inaugural Trade Association Forum’s Women in Trade Association’s Powerlist in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses. Within this list of 100 women will be familiar names. Chances are they convene your sector, you hear them on the news and know of their successes in Westminster and Whitehall. After a gruelling six years championing their sectors while managing the fall out of Brexit, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine we thought it was time to shine the spotlight on them as they do so ably day in and day out for UK plc.
We asked for recommendations for inspirational women in associations, women who champion their sector, deliver tirelessly for their members, and support their colleagues. We had two simple requirements in that nominees must:
- Work for or in a UK trade association (defined as a UK membership organisation representing UK businesses)
- Be inspirational, influential and brilliant…
We wanted to keep as open a door as possible for people to define inspirational, influential and brilliant in their own terms. It resulted in compelling case studies with considerable evidence of impact across:
- Policy engagement – supporting their sectors to open up global trade routes; secure billions of pounds of funding; and keeping trade going.
- Creating industry wide coalitions – both in the UK and internationally.
- Developing sustainable organisations – through membership growth and ensuring business profitability by showing impact and diversifying offerings.
- Project delivery – a lot has happened through trade associations that deliver on the ground with sustainability and training being two big themes, along with delivery mechanisms such as events and education partnerships.
- Diversity and inclusion – including supporting colleagues growth (from women’s groups, split roles to menopause support) and actively evaluating and supporting the sectors work to build a more diverse workforce;
- Crisis management – see above, there have been a few!
“A formidable champion for her members, vocal, visible and hugely passionate”
Said of our most nominated candidate Fiona Campbell who with 14 recommendations seemed to capture so many of the qualities shown in our leaders. We wouldn’t want to feed into the slight trite idea of ‘female characteristics’ for success, yet for those interested to know why these people have had such accomplishments a word cloud would pull out the following:
- Brave (especially the CEO who polled her team on her management style);
- Champion, advocate, tirelessly represents, persuasive, strong voice;
- Collegiate, inclusive, great team player, collaborative;
- Fair, calm, reliable, well informed;
- Formidable, driven, resilient;
- Inspirational, passionate, dedicated, determined;
My significant thanks to Emily Wallace, CEO of TAF, for driving this project – it would not have happened without you. Equally my huge appreciation to our Judging Panel including Caroline Lavelle (FSB), Lisa Collins (IABM), Ellen Daniels (BCGA), Martin McTague (FSB) and last, but never least, the incredible Gaynor Pates (Chair TAF).
With over 250 nominations we had a significant job in evaluating the nominees and it was incredibly hard to filter to just 100. In the nominations we had a number of brilliant recommendations from a cohort of women who are clearly rising stars, who while don’t feature today we will ensure that they secure a place in their own list. Undoubtingly there will be incredibly capable, talented, and well-loved candidates we haven’t been able to recognise here as we pared down to the most notable for the work over the past few years. My apologies to them and we hope that you don’t see this as a slight.
We will shortly be celebrating with the women in the list. Next year we hope to revisit the group again and extend this wider to women performing other significant roles driving associations including Chairs and other members. More, as always, will follow. In the meantime our list and nominees will be getting on with the job while being inspirational, influential and brilliant – congratulations again to them!
Women in Trade Association’s Power List
Women in Trade Associations
TAF and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are pleased to have joined forces to champion the role of women in trade associations, celebrate their achievements and encourage the next generation of women into the association sector.
From over 200 nominations we are please to be able to unveil the first WiTA Powerlist that recognises one hundred inspirational women in associations.
We are grateful to our selection panel for helping to curate the inaugural list.
The selection panel:
We are proud to work with many inspirational women at the FSB and CBI many of whom deserve to be included in this list.
The 2023 powerlist!
You can browse the full list below or else filter by sector or search
- Built Environment
- Culture & Leisure
- Energy & Environment
- Food & Drink
Director, Media Smart (Advertising Association)
Director, Cards and Consumer Credit, UK Finance
Client Director, Radiocentre
Chief Executive, Food and Drink Federation
Head of Communications, The Federation of Independent Retailers
Chief Executive, UK Warehousing Association (UKWA)
Director of Policy and Research, The ADE
Chief Executive, Walpole
Chief Operating Officer, Innovate Finance
Chief Executive, Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers
Director of Regulation, Association of British Insurers
International Trade Director, Advertising Association
Offshore Wind Director, RenewableUK
Director of Marketing & Communications, The British Institute of KBB Installation
Safety, Health & Environment Director, British Ceramic Confederation
Director of Policy, Make UK
Chief Operating Officer, International Underwriting Association
Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association
Director of Industry Relations, ABTA – The Travel Association
Chief Operating Officer, BIVDA
Chief Executive Officer, British Retail Consortium
Chief Executive, IMTA (International Meat Trade Association )
Director - Defence, ADS Group
Chief Executive Officer, AXREM
Co-Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre
Director of Public Affairs Advertising Association
Julia Evans OBE
Chief Executive, BSRIA
Director - Public Affairs, BEAMA
Deputy Chief Executive, Build UK
Chief Executive, Greetings Card Association
Principal, Mortgage Policy, UK Finance
Managing Director, Manchester Digital
Head Of Education, National Association of Jewellers
CEO ,The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA)
CEO, Airmic (Association for Insurance & Risk)
Housewares Sector Manager\/Director of Sales for the Exclusively show, BHETA
Director General, Association of British Insurers
Chief Executive Officer, Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed)
Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium
Director General, British Chambers of Commerce
Sarah Hendry CBE
Director General, Country Land and Business Association
Head of Justice and Emergency Services, TechUK
Chief Executive, British Woodworking Federation
CEO, Innovate Finance
Director of Regulation, IHPN
Head of Data Analytics, AI and Digital ID, techUK
Region Director - Midlands & East of England, Make UK
Director of Consumer and Mortgage Finance, Finance and Leasing Association
Chief Executive, Management Consultancies Association (MCA)
Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy, TechUK
Director of Membership and Financial Protection, ABTA - The Travel Association
Principal, Payments, UK Finance
Director of Quality and Standards, National Hair and Beauty Federation
Chief Executive, British Property Federation
Director of Communications, Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
Dids Macdonald OBE
CEO & Co Founder, Anti Copying in Design
Innovation Director, Railway Industry Association
Director - International Business Development, ADS Group
Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE
Managing Director of Global Strategy, Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television
Emma McClarkin OBE
Chief Executive, British Beer and Pub association
Chief Finance and Operations Officer, IABM
Dr Emma Meredith
Director-General, Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA)
Sector Lead, Scottish Agritourism
Director of External Affairs, Rail Partners
Head of Eurasia, Middle East and Africa, TheCityUK
Suzannah Nichol MBE
Chief Executive, Build UK
Kate Nicholls OBE
CEO, UK Hospitality
Caroline Norbury OBE
Chief Executive Officer, Creative UK
Deputy Chief Executive, UK Pet Food
Director of Communication, Wine & Spirit Trade Association
Chief Executive Officer, Energy UK
Director of Recycling, Confederation of Paper Industries
Chief Executive Officer, British Footwear Association (BFA)
Managing Director, Public Affairs, Policy & Economic Research, TheCityUK
Chief Executive, PAGB - The consumer healthcare association
Director of Strategic Communications, Energy UK
Executive Director, Flexible Space Association
Head of Careers, NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors)
Director of Policy & Government Affairs, SMMT
Chief Executive and Company Secretary, BCECA
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Recruitment & Employment Confederation
Chief Executive, Universitites UK
Chief Economist, ADS Group
Director of Legal, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, News Media Association
Chief Executive, British Water
Chief Policy & Engagement Officer, British Parking Association
Executive Director, Wood Recyclers' Association
Dr Jo Twist OBE
Chief Executive Officer, UKIE - The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment
Secretary General, The Survey Association
Head of External Affairs, The Scaffolding Association
Managing Director Prudential Regulation, Association for Foreign Markets in Europe
Deputy CEO, Energy UK
Co-CEO, Society for London Theatre and UK Theatre
Head of Membership Operations, British Printing Industries Federation
Chief Executive, Giftware Association
Chief Executive, British Franchise Association
Executive Director, British Equestrian Trade Association
Director General, British Educational Suppliers Association
Chief Executive, Association of Labour Providers
Diversity for many associations is still a challenge, particularly for those who represent traditionally male-dominated sectors.
Traditional associations derive their activists, volunteers and often their staff teams from their members, with individuals often moving to and from associations and their member businesses.
The diversity of an association therefore often reflects the diversity of their sector.
In many ways this is inevitable. Associations need to be experts in their sectors, they need to understand how it works both in detail and in practice. They need to understand all the nooks and crannies, the people, the culture and the industry politics too.
So, in many ways, associations need to overcompensate with their focus on diversity, encouraging unrepresented groups to participate in the association, and also actively seeking diverse candidates into appropriate roles.
The current labour market has proved challenging on this front, our member benchmarking survey published in November last year, showed that associations are struggling to recruit, and are concerned about retaining talent.
The Trade Association Forum as the ‘association of associations’ wants to play our part as well.
We exist to bring members together, develop communities and encourage the sharing of best practice. There are some great examples of associations leading the way to encourage their sectors to be more diverse. Including the two associations shortlisted for ‘Diversity Initiative of the Year’ for this year’s Trade Associations Awards:
- The British Beer and Pub Association launched the first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Charter for breweries and pubs; a sector-wide commitment to embed practices throughout members’ businesses from boardroom to the bar.
- RenewableUK launched a Switch List, an industry-sourced list of women in the industry specialists in their field, ready and able to participate in panels, be speakers, keynotes or roundtable representatives. The list is open-access and for use by the whole energy industry and trade bodies to ensure that there can never be the excuse that ‘there aren’t any women who know about this topic’.
These are great initiatives that we are proud to celebrate with our awards, but we want to use our platform to highlight other stories as well.
This is why we have launched a new initiative with the FSB and the CBI to celebrate women in Associations. We are building the Women in Trade Association Powerlist to publish on International Women’s Day, and bringing together for the first time inspirational women from across the sector to act as a demonstration of the incredible female talent we are lucky enough to have. To coin a phrase, “You can’t be it if you can’t see it.”
We also want to encourage associations to attract and recruit from a wider pool of candidates, which is why we are working to promote associations as a great place to grow and develop your career. We are currently reviewing our training and development offer, and working with our recruitment partners Membership Bespoke and Ellwood Atfield to develop best practice around recruitment and retention.
We are also working with other partners including the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to build networks of PR and Public Affairs and communications professionals in associations to champion the work that they do.
In the future, we think that TAF should be the place where anyone working in or looking to work in an association goes when they need professional support and advice about how to build and develop their career in Associations.
You can play your part too.
Nominate your inspirational women in association by the 6th February:
Nominate the best women you know for the inaugural 2023 Powerlist
TAF, the CBI and the FSB are joining forces to champion the role of Women in trade bodies , celebrate their achievements and encourage the next generation of women into the association sector.
On International Women’s Day we will be launching the inaugural Women in Trade Associations powerlist. Our list will celebrate the best, the most brilliant, and the most formidable female business and sector champions in the UK.
We are looking for inspirational women in Associations, women who champion their sector, deliver tirelessly for their members, and support their colleagues.
- Work for or in a UK trade association (defined as a UK membership organisation representing UK businesses)
- Be inspirational, influential and brilliant
Anyone can make a nomination, Just tell us why you think they deserve a place on our 2023 list (maximum 300 words).
So, who do you know that should make the list?
Comprehensive financial, salary & benefits benchmarking of more than 100 trade associations now available to buy!
The TAF Benchmarking survey 2022 produced in partnership wtih Ellwood Atfield provides up-to-date information on key financial indicators, salaries, pay awards and benefits offered by associations.
The data was collected during September and October 2022 and there were 105 valid responses from organisations together employing some 1,152 staff with combined salary bill of more than £42m.
The report allows association leaders to make informed decisions about budgeting, salaries and strategy. Available now for just £100 (ex VAT) for TAF Members and £150 (ex VAT) for non-members.
The report and accompanying data tables breaks down findings by geographical location and size of association and has been produced specifically to help associations benchmark themselves against similar sized associations. The data includes:
- Salary bill, wage inflation and benefits
- Revenue makeup and cash at hand
- Recruitment, staffing levels and ways of working
- Salary scales at 5 levels of seniority
- Bonus levels and criteria
- Board remuneration
Below are some examples of the types of information included in the report:
How long could your association survive on cash-at-hand?
How have you found recruitment over the past 12 months?
We benchmarked salaries at 5 different levels for trade association staff (by size and geography) and also explored how employers have adapted to new ways of working and are using benefits to improve their offer and retain staff.
Get this and much more in the full report and data tables.
TAF and CIPR Launch PUBCOM
The Trade Association Forum in partnership with the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR) are delighted to launch a new networking group for PR and PA professionals working in Trade Associations.
The TAF PR and Public Affairs Best Practice Forum (TAF PUBCOM) held its first meeting on 22nd September and agreed a remit to:
- Provide a professional network for PR and PA staff working in trade associations
- Support trade association PR and public affairs staff to develop their skills and professional careers, including through the provision of tailored training and development and CPD learning opportunities
- Share best practice, discuss challenges and initiate benchmarking and research into the challenges faced by PR and public affairs in trade associations
- Provide mentoring and support to those looking to grow and develop their career in PR and public affairs within trade associations
In times of turbulence and change, the role of trade associations to communicate with and on behalf of their members is crucial. This new initiative will help us develop and build collectively and undoubtedly be a valuable resource.
For more information about the network please contact TAF CEO, Emily Wallace, or register for updates below:
Successful Trade Associations are built on excellent communications
There is no doubt that successful trade associations are built on excellent communications, but keeping pace with modern professional communications is an enduring and significant challenge.
Trade associations are small organisations, almost all employ less than 100 staff, most less than 20 and many under 10. They certainly don’t have the luxury of being able to employ a fully skilled team of communications professionals.
Instead, individuals take on multiple roles, upskilling themselves and learning on the job. Getting the balance of skills right to be able to take on, PR, public affairs, member engagement, corporate and digital communications is a constant challenge.
Their work really matters, and their communications does too. It needs to help them punch well above the size of their organisations.
It is only through excellent communicators that associations can properly represent their sector both in the UK and abroad, and with it shape the opportunities for their members and support the growth of the UK economy too.
Their communication with regulators and policymakers is critical. It makes policy workable. Without trade associations, the Government would have a really hard job implementing policy. Not only do associations spend huge amounts of time working on the details of regulation and guidance, but they then communicate it to their members and drive compliance too.
As the voice of their industry there is a huge responsibility to be visible and be accurate, and as member led organisations, trade associations must ensure they represent their views and interests. This means they need excellent channels of communication with members and a strong feedback loop too.
Trade associations also deliver essential communications to ensure industry standards are understood and adhered to. They put in place accreditation programmes, run regular training sessions, develop routes to entry through apprenticeships and vocational learning, support continued professional development, share best practice and reward excellence.
These communications make us all safer by protecting consumers and businesses and supporting public sector inspection regimes.
There is no doubt that investing in the skills and resources needed to have a professional communications capability is critical for associations.
This is why TAF has teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations to work together to ensure that Associations have access to the best professional development opportunities, and why together we are looking at how to build networks and develop best practice specifically for Associations.
If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved, we would love to hear from you.
CIPR announce new Partnership with the Trade Association Forum
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is delighted to announce a strategic partnership with The Trade Association Forum to support the development of networks, discussion forums and best practice guidance for all those working in communications roles in UK Trade Associations.
Trade Associations are built on good communications, often the voice of their sector, they have small teams that rely on excellent communications, with members, with their sector, with the media, regulators and policy makers.
Working together the CIPR and TAF will look to improve the training and development offer for those working in communications in trade associations.
The partnership will also promote the importance of investing in professional communications to support Trade Associations across all of their communications activities, from PR to member communications, to marketing and public affairs
TAF Interim CEO Emily Wallace said:
“Trade Associations are small organisations that need to punch above their weight with their communications. I am delighted to be working with the CIPR to support TAF members to learn about the value of investing in their communications capabilities. ”
Alastair McCapra, Chief Executive of CIPR stated:
“Trade Associations are built on good communications. Often the voice of their sector, they have small teams that rely on excellent communications, with members, with their sector, with the media, regulators and policy makers. This partnership will support members of both bodies in sharing best practice and by providing networking opportunities.“
The Trade Association Forum is the association for association in the UK, representing more than 140 trade associations who in turn represent more than 135,000 businesses from all sectors of the economy.
CIPR is the world’s only Royal Chartered body for public relations professionals. We are committed to professional standards and lifelong learning, supporting careers of members and building public understanding of public relations.
For more information please contact:
TAF: Emily Wallace, CEO – email@example.com
Darren Caplan is the CEO of RIA. He joined us to discuss who RIA are, what their priorities are, how TAF helps them achieve their goals, and the awards won by both RIA and Darren at the 2022 TAF Awards.
Recording from BPEx 2022
Catch up with some of the main sessions from TAF’s Best Practice Exchange Conference on Thursday 23rd June 2022:
Welcome from TAF Chair & Ministerial Keynote
The opening sessions from TAF’s Best Practice Exchange conference, featuring a welcome from TAF Chair, Gaynor Pates, and a keynote speech and Q&A from Paul Scully MP, the Minister for Small Business from BEIS.
The UK economy in 2022: challenges and opportunities for business
Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB and Henry Aldridge, Head of Trade Associations at the CBI, discuss the economy, what it means for business and the role trade associations can play, all chaired by TAF CEO Emily Wallace.
How can Trade Associations Better Support SMEs to Grow?
Small businesses make up three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector, and ensuring they are well represented and supported to grow is key to delivering UK economic growth. Hear from Carlo Gibbs, Head of SME Insights and Engagement at BEIS, Paloma Sackman, Head of Leadership & Management Programmes at Be the Business and Chris Noice, the Director of Communications at the Association of Convenience Stores to discuss the issues.
Keynote speech from Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Business Minister from the Labour Party
Seema Malhotra MP, the Shadow Business Minister from the Labour Party, addresses the TAF Best Practice Exchange Conference on the 23rd June 2022, with an introduction from Tom Bowtell, the CEO of the British Coating Federation and a TAF Board member.
Role and effectiveness of trade associations in dealing with Government
A key part of the role of a Trade Association is in representing its members to Government, policymakers and regulators. This session explores the relationship between Government and trade associations and how to build long-term impactful relationships and be the most effective representatives for your members. Speakers include: – Alex Thomas: Programme Director, Institute for Government and former Civil Servant – Nikki Da Costa: Specialist Partner at Flint Global and Former Director Of Legislative Affairs at 10 Downing Street – Alistair McCapra: Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Public Relations – Tom Bowtell: CEO, British Coatings Federation
Why focusing on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is good for business
This session will explore how Associations can drive improvements in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in their sectors. We will hear examples of how trade associations have delivered real impact and discuss the role of trade associations in promoting EDI. Speakers include: Isabella Lawson – Senior Policy Officer, RIA Jessica Levy – Director of Communications, Federation of Master Builders Mandy Rico – Head of Advisory and Inclusion, INvolve