Liv Garfield: United behind our common goals

Hilary Benn with delegates at RISING 15

When I got the call asking whether I wanted to be part of RISING 16, I couldn’t have been more excited. I’ve been with Severn Trent for over two years now, but I’m still genuinely impressed, every single time I come into Coventry, at how a city can quite literally rise from the ashes to become the thriving and proud community it is today.

It makes complete sense to me that RISING, an organisation committed to ending the cycle of conflict and threat in our societies, should have found its home here in Coventry. And I can’t think of a more fitting place for RISING 16 to be held than in Coventry Cathedral – a stunning and iconic venue that stands as the ultimate symbol of reconciliation and is the very essence of everything that RISING is working towards.

For an organisation that has been in existence for such a short amount of time, what RISING has achieved is seriously impressive. Of course, bringing together such a diverse and inspiring group of people under one roof is a success in itself, but what really makes the difference is the way the forum not only motivates people to think differently, but more importantly, galvanises them to go out and actually do something differently too.

As a business leader, I know that change can be a seriously difficult thing to achieve. One thing I have learnt is that the most effective way to bring about the right changes successfully is to bring everyone along with you, involving them in the process all of the way. I’m lucky enough to have over 5,500 talented colleagues at Severn Trent, with a hugely diverse range of skills and backgrounds – but I know that we can only be truly successful if we’re united behind our common goals.

And that for me is what RISING is really about. Uniting people behind a common cause, and giving them a loud collective voice – inspiring them to stand up and challenge the way things are now and helping us all to move forward with a new approach.

I am very proud to be able do all I can to play my part in this hugely important event and I look forward to seeing you all there.

Liv Garfield is chief executive of Severn Trent. Her appointment in April 2014 made her the youngest ever female CEO on the FTSE and one of only five women. She joins a panel to discuss the rise of women leaders at RISING 16 on Tuesday 15 November 2016.

View all items