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CBI president elect tells firms to hire women

<!--StartFragment-->FORMER Economist editor Helen Alexander has told firms to hire more women for boardroom roles, just hours after being nominated as the next president of industry union the CBI.<br /><br />Alexander warned yesterday there is a risk of &ldquo;group think&rdquo; at firms that only put white men in senior roles, arguing the benefits of diversity justify focusing on female appointments.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is clear that teams that have diversity within them don&rsquo;t result in group think &ndash; people come at things in a different way and organisations have to take those into account,&rdquo; she said.<br /><br />She added that given the uncertain economic times, constructive dialogue is critical.<br /><br />The industry heavyweight will become the first ever female president of the CBI if she gets approval at its annual meeting in June.<br /><br />The CBI, considered the most important trade association, represents 80 per cent of FTSE 100 firms.<br /><br />Oxford graduate Alexander will succeed current president Martin Broughton if successful.<br /><br />Alexander has also held non-executive roles at Northern Foods, British Telecom, Centrica and Rolls-Royce. She is married with three children. <!--EndFragment-->