Business diary: Barker returns to Yorkshire

It's a good signing for the Yorkshire Building Society, which has managed to persuade the economist Kate Barker to sit as a non-executive on its board. This will be Barker's second stint at the mutual – she had to stand down as one of its non-execs in 2001 when she was appointed to the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Still, she has taken her time returning – Barker quit the MPC in May this year. Was she hoping a better offer might materialise?



Sky's missing fan is safe and well

The Diary is very pleased to announce some good news for once. Two weeks ago, we reported on the widespread concern prompted by Sky's AGM, where the first question to the management from shareholders has traditionally always come from the same fan of Bristol City. His absence this year sparked fears for his health. Now "John" has been in touch to allay those fears. "The reason I was missing was due to a pre-planned family commitment," he tells us. "I am alive and kicking."



Ryanair girls set to return to the air

Ah, Christmas is on its way. We can tell, because the annualinvitation to the launch of the Ryanair charity calendar has just arrived. Michael O'Leary, theairline's showman, is not missing this opportunity to play the big man, and will host a photoshoot for the calendar in a London hotel today. So far, Ryanair isn't saying which charity will be this year's beneficiary, or even whether there is a theme for the calendar. But expect more photographs of scantily-clad cabin crew – and more protests from women's groups, stirring up exactly the kind of controversy that O'Leary loves so much.



Businesswomen go to Bognor

Let it not be said that nothing is being done to encourage the next generation of businesswomen. The University of Chichester has persuaded top female executives at companies ranging from Cisco to Marks & Spencer to speak to 100 girls from West Sussex schools as part of its Woman's Enterprise Day initiative. Don't be surprised if Bognor Regis students are wielding a disproportionate influence in the boardroom in 20 years' time.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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