This is both the best and worst time for women in the workplace

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This week, as I stood in a room full of successful women in business and public life, giving a speech about the importance of increasing their number, I could not help but be reminded of the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens. This well-known phrase echoed in my head. Women have never been in a more strong position to lead, challenge and shape the future, but they are still much less likely than men to be associated with leadership positions in UK business.

I have made it my mission throughout my working life, and now in my capacity as chairman at the Institute of Directors, to be a champion of women. An important aspect of that goal is to pick one’s career path carefully. When I was young, I wanted to become an actress.

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