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.
Our 2021 Bursary Programme offers six women, who would not otherwise be able to afford it, complimentary places on our signature Boardroom Journey.
Find more about our 2021 cohort.
We received over 250 applications for our 2021 Bursary Programme. We're hugely impressed with the determination, expertise and passion displayed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply.
The Bursary programme is generously supported by Boudicca from Equiniti.
We also thank Paul Drechsler, Sally-Ann Hibberd, Vanda Murray OBE DBA and Nigel Pantling
highly-experienced board Chairs, for waiving their speaker-fee at our ‘Becoming an Effective Chair’ programme (Feb and May 2021 cohorts) to contribute to our Bursary Programme.
We are grateful to First Flight Non-Executive Directors for their input in the selection process.
Our 2021 Bursary cohort
The six participants selected for our 2021 Bursary programme showed exceptional focus, skill and determination to build or begin their non-executive careers. We look forward to seeing what they will acheive!
An experienced finance analyst, researcher and lecturer, who has 13+ years of experience in both domestic and international financial institutions and the academic field. Afshan is an active researcher. She has successfully defended her PhD project at Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Scotland and is expecting to graduate in 2021. Her PhD project explores the issues of governance, risk and accountability in the UK banking sector from the perspective of non-executive directors.
Afshan is now targeting board positions to put into practice the in-depth understanding of governance, audit and risk she has built up from both professional experience and academic knowledge. She is keen to expand her network through Women on Boards and hone how she expresses her considerable value-add to the boardroom.
After an early career in change management and IT, Gill has managed and grown her consultancy business alongside the demands of raising three children, one of whom has significant additional needs, for more than two decades.
Now her youngest is in his twenties, she is keen to pivot her career to contribute to organisations in a non-executive capacity. She is a highly strategic thinker who offers incisive challenge to energise all those around her.
Gill honed her skills supporting organisations, with a particular track record in the transport sector, in the areas of leadership development, behaviour change and executive coaching. She is fascinated by the nuances of global and multicultural work.
An operational risk professional, Nolly has strong leadership potential and has taken a more junior role to balance with significant caring responsibilities.
Multi-lingual and having lived in four countries in three continents, Nolly combines her deep professional understanding of risk and strategy with insights from her lived experiences. She has developed her leadership skills through various roles in professional associations’ committees. Nolly is now aiming to apply her considerable skill-set in a non-executive position, and to use her enhanced strategic outlook to progress her executive career.
Rebecca is a specialist in the education and training of pharmacy professionals, gaining experience in practical and academic arenas. She most recently led the development of an advanced practice framework for pharmacy technicians and holds a Masters in Education from Cardiff Metropolitan University (where she was awarded the IPDA Howard Tanner Research Prize).
Rebecca is developing a portfolio career, already holding committee positions with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), including a role equivalent to panel Chair. In addition, Rebecca volunteers as Standards and Consultation Lead for the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) and is a Local Authority School Governor.
Rebecca wishes to build on this experience to achieve her goal of a full non-executive directorship, with the support of Women Boards.
Yvette is a senior communications and stakeholder engagement professional, who worked her way up from being a secretary at 17 to directorships in the public and commercial sectors.
Leaving her last role as Director of Communications for South Western Railways two years ago, Yvette is now looking to build a portfolio career. She is looking for non-executive directorships where her significant leadership experience can really make an impact. She intends to retain flexibility across her portfolio to pursue her other interests, including learning the viola!
Our sixth Bursary participant is a young woman in the North West who is (soon to be) a Masters graduate and trainee solicitor. She would prefer to participate anonymously.
A dedicated and driven individual, she has varied experience in committee and voluntary roles, spanning the political, media and charitable fields. She has demonstrated sound judgement and exceptional stakeholder management. She is keen to build on this community engagement through a board role, both to further her professional development and to ‘give back’ to a cause she cares about.
Thank you to our supporters
The Women on Boards Bursary Programme 2021 is generously supported by Boudicca from Equiniti, a specialist shareholder engagement company.
A leader in the growing arena of investor communications, and based in London, Boudicca works to secure maximised proxy voting and participation in shareholder meetings and corporate transactions. Boudicca has worked on over 600 AGMs, EGMs and M&A transactions for clients in the UK, Europe, North America and crossborder since inception ‐ including some of the most complex proxy voting cases and corporate transactions ‐ and delivers a high rate of success. Find out more about Boudicca from Equiniti
We also thank highly-experienced board Chairs - Paul Drechsler, Sally-Ann Hibberd, Vanda Murray OBE DBA and Nigel Pantling - for waiving their speaker-fee at our ‘Becoming an Effective Chair’ programme (Feb and May 2021 cohorts) to contribute to our Bursary Programme.
We are also grateful to First Flight Non-Executive Directors for offering their perspective on our shortlisted candidates.
More about Women on Boards Bursary programme
2021 is the third year Women on Boards has offered a bursary programme.
>> Find out more about the 2020 Bursary programme here.
>> Find out more about the 2019 Bursary programme here.
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).