Women 1st has launched new membership schemes to help businesses take proactive steps to redress the gender imbalance at the top. Bourne Leisure, the operator of Haven Holidays, Warner Leisure Hotels and Butlins has become the first to sign up to the new membership scheme. With access to Women 1st's training and mentoring programmes, corporate membership enables businesses to join a growing list of outstanding companies. They become “employers of choice” for women and are recognised as champions of diversity. Other benefits include discounted and free tickets to the group’s annual conference. Bourne Leisure human resources head Sue Davies, said: “We are working hard to increase gender balance in our leadership team and create a diversity culture from the top down. “A number of our female employees have undertaken Women 1st training and we have been delighted with the results, but we recognise that there is no ‘quick fix’ to increasing gender balance. We're pleased to be forging this ongoing partnership to support the wider diversity agenda.” Women 1st founder Sharon Glancy, said: “At a time when our industries are crying out for skilled managers and leaders, there are thousands of talented women who can step up to the plate - but they need the right support. “Our membership programmes are designed to give businesses the opportunity to give female staff the skills, confidence and inspiration so they can feel empowered to take their careers to the next level. “Boardroom diversity is moving up the political agenda and there are a number of enlightened businesses taking proactive steps to bridge the gender gap. Joining us demonstrates their commitment not only to their industry, but to the most important asset they have - the women working in their organisation.”