Who We Are

The WOB UK team

The Team

WOB UK Founders, Rowena, Fiona and Rachel

 

Rowena Ironside

Chair, Women on Boards UK

Rowena spent 25 years as an executive in the ICT sector before completing the Sloan Masters at London Business School and subsequently developing a second career as a non-executive director, angel investor and consultant.  She has been executive Chair of Women on Boards UK since its launch in 2012 and she is a non executive director at the Digital Catapult and Chair of the Judging Panel for Nesta's Open Up Challenge.

Fiona Hathorn

Managing Director, Women on Boards UK

Fiona is Managing Director of Women on Boards UK and a Trustee of the charity Fight for Sight.  She is a former investment director for Old Mutual Asset Management and Hill Samuel Asset Management, running the Global Equities and Emerging Markets Desks respectively.  In the past Fiona has advised the board of Thai Euro Fund and been the Director responsible for Pension Fund asset allocation for Old Mutual Asset Management's Employee Pension Fund.  

Rachel Tranter

Director, Women on Boards UK

Rachel is a founding director of Women on Boards UK.  She spent 18 years as an international corporate tax consultant working with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  After leaving in 2008 she joined Cardio Direct Ltd, a medical provider of cardiac services.  Rachel studied at the University of Birmingham and is a Bachelor of Commerce.  She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, ATII qualified.

Ancia Cronje

Corporate Relationship Manager, Women on Boards UK

Ancia is a chartered Industrial Psychologist with the South African Health Professions Council and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources Management. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in finance and engineering. She is a strong believer in diversity as a cornerstone for growth and development in global organisations, with specific expertise in black economic empowerment and equal opportunities. She served on a South African Government task force mandated to develop a national Training and Development Strategy.

Joanne Read

Business Development Manager, Women on Boards UK

Joanne graduated from UCL University with a Masters in European Public Policy and first joined Women on Boards UK in 2012. After a short stint at Huddle, she has recently returned to WOB UK as Business Development Manager to help support the growth of the business across the UK.

Claire Braund

Executive Director Women on Boards Australia
NED, Women on Boards UK

Claire is a former journalist and public relations manager who uses her high level advocacy skills to lead Women on Boards in Australia. A highly respected speaker on gender diversity and related business issues, Claire became a Churchill Fellow in 2012 for her research into the effect of gender quotas on public listed company boards in Norway and the progress of the policy debate in the UK and France. Her research and introduction to Fiona Hathorn led to the establishment of Women on Boards in the UK. Claire has experience as a director in the small business and not-for-profit sectors.

Ruth Medd

Chair Women on Boards, Australia
NED, Women on Boards UK

Ruth is a Certified Practising Accountant who has been pursuing a career as a non-executive director since 2000.  She chairs a listed superannuation trust, is a director on the National Foundation for Australian Women and a former director of the NSW Casino Control Authority and a childcare centre. Prior executive roles include the Executive Director of the Australian Association of National Advertisers and senior positions with Telstra, the Australian Broadcasting  Tribunal and the Federal Government.

Extended Team

WOB UK is fortunate to be supported by many fabulous women and a few men.  Below we list members of our extended team who each support us in different ways in our mission to build a sustainable organisation to support women who need information and advice on their way to the boardroom.

 

Ali Harrison

Non Executive Director, Trustee and WOB Workshop PresenterHarrison,Ali-2.jpg

Ali is a non Executive Director with experience of the UK National health Service as a Board member, Trustee & Chair of several committees. She is also Board Trustee for the Alzheimer's Society and a member of their external digital advisory group.  Ali is an experienced global regulatory leader with significant expertise in Europe. China and the Emerging markets working for a top 10 global pharmaceutical company. She has chaired the European Industry Association European and International Regulatory Affairs Committees and is a Fellow of the global regulatory professionals organisation, TOPRA.

Ali connected with WOB at one of the first regional 'Getting Started' workshops in the North West and is now a presenter and active advocate of the work of WOB.


Alison Thorne

Founder, atconnect, NED and WOB UK Masterclass Presenter

Alison held executive board positions at Mothercare, Lego Retail, George at Asda and Otto UK and non-executive roles with start-up businesses.  She spent two years as a partner in an executive search firm, set up a business that supports companies to deliver through their people and now also combines this experience to help individuals present themselves effectively. Alison is Non-Executive Director of TPC Consulting and a trustee of Chwarae Teg

Alison is a presenter for WOB's Board CV Masterclass and also provides the follow up one-on-one support.  She is based in Cardiff and is WOB's contact for members in Wales.

Jane Frost CBE

CEO, Market Research Society

Jane is the CEO of the Market Research Society, a leading research association with members serving the business intelligence, social and opinion research, market analysis and insight and consultancy industries. Jane's previous position was with HM Revenue & Customs, where she was the Director in charge of the Individual Customer. Prior to that she worked in marketing for multi-national companies such as Unilever, Shell and the BBC both overseas and in the UK.  Jane is a trustee and non executive director of the Lowry Arts Centre in Manchester and Vice Chair of the Fairtrade Foundation.

Julie Ashworth

Chair, Clear Returns, Chair, Institute of Directors Edinburgh and WOB UK Presenter and Advisor

Julie is Chair of Clear Returns, one of the UK’s most exciting technology start-ups. She is also CEO of Broadreach and provides specialist leadership consulting services to global blue-chip companies. Beginning her career with Tesco where she built a formidable reputation for delivering excellence in operations, Julie works extensively as an Executive Coach with various FTSE 100 companies and has held Interim Retail Director roles with Liberty and Punch Taverns. She also spent time as a retail specialist and Executive Partner EMEA with IBM.

Julie is a presenter for WOB's Getting Started and On Track for Success workshops and also works with Rowena providing 1-on-1 support to subscribers working on their Board CV.  She lives in Edinburgh and, along with Tanya, is a point of contact for WOB members in Scotland.

Lisa Jones

Business Angel Investor, NED and WOB UK Presenter

Lisa's business life has been spent in marketing communications agencies, working on business-to-business clients across Europe. Lisa is well known in the industry for being passionate and capable.  She is skilled at challenging and inspiring others which is why she was also the Board Director responsible for implementing agency personal performance training alongside her client relationship responsibilities. In addition to supporting WOB UK Ltd, Lisa is an active business angel investor.  Lisa is also trustee for the London based charity Regenerate which helps to transform deprived communities from the inside and a NED on a start up CIC called The Feel Good Bakery.

Mary Daunt

Non Executive Director, Trustee and WOB UK PresenterMTD2.jpg

Mary is a non-executive director and trustee of both Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and The Complete Works Limited, an independent school incorporated as a charity and based in East London that enables young people in difficult circumstances to engage in education. Mary previously was non -executive director and vice-chair of Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust and chief executive of Birmingham Forward. Prior to her non- executive career Mary was a leading real estate lawyer heading teams at firms including Eversheds and Andersen Legal before becoming a consultant at law firm Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP. 

Mary is a regular workshop presenter for WOB UK in Birmingham.

Pam Vick

Founder, Caspia Consultancy and WOB UK Marketing & PR advisor

Pam spent 18 years as a Regional Group Account Director at global ad agency Leo Burnett before moving to Hertz Europe as European Marketing Director, where she was responsible for marketing across 9 corporate European markets. She was headhunted in 1999 to become Global Marketing Director of StepStone.com, then an online recruitment start-up, which subsequently expanded into 18 countries, IPO’d and was acquired by Axel Springer in 2009.  Pam set up Caspia Consultancy in 2001 and works as an outsourced marketing department to SME’s and start-ups across many sectors including financial and professional services, design, media, technology, retail, not for profit, leisure and FMCG.  She hopes with the help of WOB to secure her first NED position soon.

Sally Duckworth

CEO, Portfolio NED and WOB Workshop Presenter

Sally is an experienced, successful Director, in both Executive and Non Executive roles for early and development stage technology companies, with a focus on fintech and software. Her passion is to taking new products and services to market and helping existing businesses restructure to accelerate growth. Sally is Chair of Stormagic Limited and a Non Executive Director of Mobeus Income and Growth 2 VCT and has recently stepped down as Chair of BeyondTheStory.  She is a regular presenter on WOB's London Getting Started Workshop.

Stephanie Hughes

Founder, Farrier Communication and WOB Masterclass Presenter

Stephanie was a presenter with the BBC for 18 years, communicating her insights and passions from the most intimate radio programmes to flag-waving international broadcasts. She brought her extensive experience to the world of corporate communcations in 2005. Her clients range from Heads of Finance & Development to senior management in corporate finance, legal, engineering and architect/property firms.  Her learning and therefore her advice and courses don’t come from a book; they come from practical life experience.

Susan Webster

Portfolio NED, Business Consultant and WOB Workshop Presenter

Susan is an experienced NED. Her focus is strategy and change with a passion for considering how to meet challenges faced by complex, customer-facing organizations.  Her career has spanned financial and consultancy roles, culminating with British Telecom where she was a member of its NW Regional Board and as a Programme Director led cross company strategic change programmes. Susan is currently a trustee of Greater Manchester Arts Centre (HOME), director of Manchester Communication Academy, public governor of Central Manchester University NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust and non-executive director of The Transformation Unit, a new internal consultancy organization for the NHS.  She is a regular presenter on WOB's Getting Started Workshop in Manchester and Leeds.

Tanya Castell MBE

Non-Executive Director and WOB UK Presenter

Tanya is a non-executive director of the Faster Payments Scheme (a core part of the UK's financial market infrastructure), Societe Generale Newedge (a major global derivatives brokerage firm) and Vice Chair of Scottish Canals (which owns, operates and transforms the canals in Scotland).  She is also the Lay Chair of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries new Quality Assurance Scheme and on the board of Soirbheas, a community charity in the Highlands (which she chaired for 3 1/2 years) and Fettes College, a leading UK independent boarding school in Edinburgh.  

She chairs the Risk and Audit Committees of Newedge, the Audit and Risk Committee of Scottish Canals and the Audit and Finance and Remuneration Committees of Faster Payments. Tanya is a regular presenter on WOB's Getting Started workshops in Edinburgh and Glasgow and is a point of contact for WOB members in Scotland.
 

The Hon Ros Kelly AO

Non-Executive Director and WOB UK Advisor

Ros Kelly moved to the Australian Federal Parliament in 1980 after being elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 1974. She held several ministerial portfolios from 1987 through to 1994 including Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel; Minister for the Arts, Sport the Environment and Tourism and Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories. She left politics in 1995 and worked as an environmental consultant.

Ros was a Non-Executive Director of Thiess for 15 years, a leading Australian construction, mining and services contractor and a former member of the International Advisory Council for Normandy Mining Ltd and Chair of the Minerals Council of Australia's External Advisory Group on Sustainability. Ros joined the Board of Trustees of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) in 2002 and was Chair from 2005 to 2010.  Ros is currently Commissioner of the Commonwealth War Graves.  Ros was awarded an Order of Australia in 2004 for her service to women's health, to the community through corporate environmental responsibility and fostering dialogue between business and conservation groups and to the Australian parliament.

Verity Harding

Policy Manager, Google Deepmind

Verity joined Google in 2013, initially as Public Policy Manager for Google UK, and now as Policy Manager for Deepmind.  Prior to this Verity was Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, where she led on Home Affairs, Justice and Equality issues - such as the Equal Marriage Act, Human Rights and Rehabilitation Revolution. She is a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford, and a recipient of the Michael Von Clemm Fellowship for graduate study at Harvard University.