Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE has been appointed the new president of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. 

McGregor-Smith has been widely recognised for her distinguished career as a business leader, being amongst the few women and first Asian woman to lead a FTSE 250 company. 

She sits in the House of Lords and is chair of both Mind Gym plc and the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education. She is also president of the British Chamber of Commerce. Acknowledged as a top-50 female word business leader by the Financial Times, she was chair of the government’s Women’s Business Council from 2012 to 2016. 

In particular, she has been a champion of improving diversity and opportunity in organisations, and led the government review Race in the Workplace: The McGregor Smith review in 2017 and subsequent follow-up reports. 

She has close links with the CIPD, speaking at events and conferences, and most recently supported its campaign for ethnicity pay reporting to become mandatory for all large employers; something which she also recommended in her review.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said:

"Ruby is an outstanding business leader who has campaigned and led on many of the issues that our central to our agenda, which includes encouraging responsible business practice and promoting the importance of inclusion and diversity. We are thrilled to have her as our new president and look forward to working closely with her."

Baroness McGregor-Smith adds:

"I have long believed in the principles of responsible business, inclusion and equality, and greater transparency – all of which the CIPD seeks to promote in its purpose of championing better work and working lives. I’m delighted to be joining the CIPD as its president and look forward to working on these vital issues, as well as helping progress and advocating for the people profession.”

She replaces outgoing president, Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, whom the CIPD wishes to thank for his extraordinary commitment and stalwart support over the last six years. As one of the most recognised experts in the field of wellbeing, he has made a notable contribution promoting it to the forefront of the business and people profession agenda.

More information about the CIPD’s board.

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.