Kirsty Bashforth, the Head of Organisational Effectiveness at BP, will discuss women in business in the 21st Century, when she delivers a guest lecture at Leeds Beckett University.

Kirsty Bashforth

Kirsty Bashforth

The event, entitled ‘Clarity, Confidence and Choices’, is free, open to the public and sponsored by Yorkshire Bank. It is the last session in the current Leeds Business School lecture series and will run from 6-7pm with light refreshments available from 5.30pm on Tuesday 5 May. Held at the University’s Rose Bowl, places must be booked online at

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Kirsty, who will examine the extent to which there is improved gender balance within business, commented: “There is definitely huge progress, but there is so much more yet to make. Women have far more choices today, but they need to exercise them consciously, and organisations, individuals and society need to act together to continue the progress. This isn’t down to one group of people or one action and it won’t be short term. But to ensure the best talent accesses the best opportunities, we must continue to focus on it.”

Kirsty has worked for BP both in the UK and abroad for more than 23 years and is part of its senior management team. She leads the company’s Organisational Effectiveness function, creating and reinforcing the conditions to get the very best out of a large organisation and working to surface the issues that get in the way of better organisational performance.

She has broad commercial experience and has undertaken roles with BP which include European Head of Sales; Marketing and Logistics for BP’s Petrochemicals business; Strategy and Marketing Director for its global B2B marketing businesses and Chief of Staff in the Refining and Marketing division. She began her career in the commodity trading arm of BP.

With a degree in Economics from Cambridge University, Kirsty is a Non-Executive Director of Kier Group plc and is a Lay Governor on the Board of Leeds Beckett University.

Paul Houghton, Principal Lecturer in Leeds Beckett’s Faculty of Business and Law, has organised the lecture series. He said: “Every year, we have a high calibre of speakers and the 2015 spring line-up has been no exception. Kirsty Bashforth is a leading businesswoman and we could not be more delighted to welcome her to Leeds Beckett to close this semester’s guest lecture series.

“Kirsty has enjoyed a varied, challenging and inspiring career which continues today as she is tasked with managing effectiveness at one of the world’s largest companies. I would recommend that anyone interested in coming along and hearing Kirsty’s story and what she has to say about women in business in the 21st Century, books their place as spaces are limited. As with all of our guest lectures the session will end with a Q&A, so the audience gets the opportunity to engage with Kirsty and ask her questions.”


For further details please contact Julia Williams in the Communications team at Leeds Beckett on 0113 812 5978 or email

Notes for editors:

  • Leeds Beckett University was previously Leeds Metropolitan University.
  • Leeds Beckett University has around 32,000 students and just over 3,000 staff.
  • The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University is Professor Susan Price and the Chancellor is Sir Bob Murray CBE.
  • Leeds Beckett’s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie.
  • Leeds Beckett University is the only university in the UK to have achieved both the Customer Service Excellence standard, Investors in People Gold and the RoSPA Gold medal.
  • The Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) showed that the proportion of Leeds Beckett 2012/13 graduates in work, further study or both six months after leaving university was 93.7%.