Ruby McGregor-Smith, Baroness McGregor-Smith
|The Right Honourable
The Baroness McGregor-Smith
Ruby McGregor-Smith CEO of Mitie Group plc
|Born||22 February 1963 (age 53)
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Occupation||CEO, Mitie Group PLC|
Ruby McGregor-Smith, Baroness McGregor-Smith, CBE (born 22 February 1963) is the CEO of Mitie Group PLC, a strategic outsourcing company headquartered in Bristol, UK. She was nominated as a Conservative life peer in August 2015.
McGregor-Smith joined Mitie as Group Financial Director in 2002 and was promoted to CEO in 2007. She is the only Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company. She was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to business and promoting diversity. During the decade she spent at Mitie, the firm increased its turnover by £1.5bn billion, which passed the £2bn mark for the first time in 2012.
McGregor-Smith was born in 1963 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, in northern India. She moved to the UK aged two with her mother, joining her father who was training as an accountant in London. She grew up in Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow, attending Bentley Wood High School and Lowland Sixth Form College before graduating from Kingston University in 1985 with a degree in economics.
Following university, McGregor-Smith trained for six years as an accountant at BDO Stoy Hayward. After qualifying, she joined Serco Group PLC, an outsourcing firm, in 1991, where she worked for nine years in a range of operational and financial roles.
In 2002, after a brief spell at the facilities management firm Service Group International (SGI), McGregor-Smith joined Mitie Group PLC as group financial director. In 2005 she was promoted to group chief operating officer, and became CEO two years later when her predecessor Ian Stewart retired to take over the role of deputy chairman. As the first Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company, the appointment received extensive press coverage.
McGregor-Smith's tenure as CEO has seen Mitie's top and bottom lines grow, boosted by strong demand for integrated services.  She was quick to identify energy management as a source of future growth: the 2009 acquisition Dalkia UK, a facilities management firm specialising in energy services, significantly boosted Mitie's strength in this niche market. However, in 2016 shares in Mitie fell to a four-year low after the company warned that an expected boom in outsourced services was not happening. Internal initiatives at Mitie in which McGregor-Smith has personal involvement include 'Mitie's Got Talent', a company-wide talent contest; and 'Mitie Millions', at which she and Finance Director Suzanne Baxter judge budding entrepreneurs with up to £5m to invest in the winners. The only non-executive directorship she holds is on the board of recruitment firm Michael Page.
Charitable and community interests
McGregor-Smith chairs the Women's Business Council, a working group that seeks to maximise women's contribution to economic growth. 
She has also been appointed by Business Secretary Sajid Javid, to lead a review looking at the issues faced by businesses in developing black and minority ethnic (BME) talent from when they start work through to the executive level.
Her views on gender diversity in management have been widely reported in the mainstream media, specifically her opposition to positive discrimination in the form of quotas. She urges companies to select managers based on talent alone, and asserts that support and flexibility for new mothers is the key to gender equality on the boards of large firms.
Awards and recognition
In 2008 she received the Business Women of the Year at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011 she was ranked 32nd, 35th and 33rd in The Financial Times Top 50 Women in World Business. In the same year she was named Business Woman of the Year at the Women in Public Life Awards.
In 2011 she was named Woman of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards. Also in 2011 she was named Orange Leader of the Year at the UK National Business Awards and Woman of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards, and was awarded honorary doctorates from Kingston University and the University of the West of England.
In February 2013, she was included in the BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour 2013 Power List of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. As well, in April 2013 she was made non-executive director to the board of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). In November 2013, McGregor-Smith was made Chair of the Public Services Strategy Board for the CBI.
In August 2015, she was nominated to be a life peer in the UK House of Lords, and was created Baroness McGregor-Smith, of Sunninghill in the Royal County of Berkshire on 16 October 2015. In December 2015, she was appointed non-executive board member of the Department for Education. In the same year she won the ICAEW Outstanding Achievement award.
In June 2016 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the First Women Awards 2016, and in July 2016 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Cranfield University for her outstanding contribution to the energy industry.
Member of the Women’s Business Council, and Chair from 2012 – July 2016.
McGregor-Smith has been married to Graham McGregor-Smith, an accountant, since 1990. They have two children, a daughter and a son.
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