The Women on Boards Bursary Programme - supporting more women into the boardroom


Women on Boards exists to help women overcome the hurdles to contribute their skills and perspective as non-executive directors. The only barrier to the boardroom should be talent.

Our Bursary Programme offers six women, who would not otherwise be able to afford it, complimentary places on our signature Boardroom Journey, worth over £1500.

We received over 200 applications for our 2022 Bursary Programme. We have been really impressed with the determination and passion displayed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. 

Congratulations to our winners for 2022: Bami Adenipekun, Jeroo Doodhmal, Paula Harrison, Amy King, Nicky Neal-Smith and Hanah Sohail.

The six participants selected showed huge amounts of passion and drive to build or begin their non-executive careers. We look forward to seeing what they will achieve! 

Bami Adenipekun

An experienced health equity consultant, coach and author, Bami delivers masterclasses and bespoke training material to healthcare professionals on person-centred care and inclusive practice. She also contributes to healthcare research at Cardiff University. Bami is passionate about equipping women to thrive after cancer diagnosis as well as give leaders tools to boost and sustain workforce resilience after trauma.

Bami is keen to target boards where her healthcare experience and passion will be of value and is looking forward to learning from other Women on Boards members. 


Jeroo Doodhmal

A serial entrepreneur with a background in strategy, marketing and customer analytics for large global companies, Jeroo is now bringing her experience to bear on a sustainable footwear brand for kids - Pip and Henry - which she founded two years ago.

Jeroo wants to share her experience of building a company with other startups and is keen to develop her board strategy and hone how she expresses her varied experience into a coherent value add offer for the boardroom.


Paula Harrison

Paula has a strong voluntary sector background with over 20 years experience in substance misuse, custodial and military charities. Having been approached to sit on boards, Paula is now keen to capitalise on this and develop her strategic oversight experience through the boardroom.

A lifelong learner, Paula would like to build her confidence in her own skillset and experience, and understand how to position herself to take on those board roles for causes she is passionate about as well as her own career progression.


Amy King

After a career in change management, including leading a team at the London Olympics in 2012, Amy is a business consultant in sustainable finance and strategy. Now having reached a natural reflection point in her career while on maternity leave, Amy is keen to reorient her focus to a more macro view of companies as a board member.

Amy has taken steps to starting her board career, joining the advisory board of a startup. She is looking to build her network and confidence through the Bursary Programme offer to develop her board profile.


Nicky Neal-Smith

Nicky has a professional background in Financial Services with extensive People, Training & Development, Project and Change Management experience.  She is also a qualified Coach and mentor. Having formerly held director-level positions at Coutts in the Client Operations and Risk Management areas, Nicky had to step away from her executive career due to a period of personal illness. 

Her health has since improved and she has taken on a number of Trustee roles, including Chair of the Board of Trustees. She is now keen to move into a portfolio career of paid non-executive positions, where she can use her skills and expertise to the full.


Hanah Sohail

As an HR professional for charities including Shelter UK, Solace Women's Aid and St John Ambulance, Hanah is gaining considerable experience in the charity sector. Ambitious to progress her career, Hanah is keen to pursue board roles alongside her day job and extend her strategic skills and experience.
With her valuable knowledge of the charity sector, Hanah would like to start her board career as a Trustee for an organisation she feels passionate about.



Thank you to our generous programme sponsor, Sheryl Cuisia - Entrepreneur, Founder at Boudicca from Equiniti. 

We also thank Mary Curnock Cook, John Dembitz, Terri Duhon, Sophie O’Connor and Shimi Shah for waiving their speaker-fee for our ‘Becoming an Effective Chair’ programme (Sep 21, Jan & June 22 cohorts) to contribute to our Bursary Programme.

More about Women on Boards Bursary programme previous participants

Our Bursary Programme winners have been from a variety of different career stages and backgrounds.

>> Find out more about the 2021 Bursary programme

>> Find out more about the 2020 Bursary programme

>> Find out more about the 2019 Bursary programme

More about our sponsors

Sheryl is an entrepreneur and specialist consultant in the growing field of shareholder engagement and corporate governance advisory. She is a passionate advocator of diversity & inclusion and promoter of progressive governance.

Sheryl founded Boudicca Proxy Ltd. in November 2011, which became part of FTSE-250 company, Equiniti Group plc, in May 2018. She is currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Kings College Cambridge. She is a judge for the Non-Executive Directors Awards as well as co-founder of the Women’s Company Secretary Circle (WoCoS). She has expertise and 20-year experience advising corporate clients and executing over 500 proxy solicitation campaigns in relation to AGMs, M&As and shareholder activism.

We also thank Mary Curnock Cook, John Dembitz, Terri Duhon, Sophie O’Connor, Shimi Shah, Paul Drechsler, Margaret Rice-Jones, Jenny Watson and Richard Hooper for waiving their speaker-fee for our ‘Becoming an Effective Chair’ programme (Sep 21, Jan, June, Sep & Nov 22 cohorts) to contribute to our Bursary Programme.

To hear more about the Bursary programme and access tips, information and inspiration to support your board career, please join the Women on Boards network for free (via our Basic Membership option).