WOB profile changes

As part of our improved digital services we will be changing how we hold member profile information. If you want to retain yours in its current format, please download it now. 
>> Read in full (March 2023)

work with us: head of corporate

An exciting opportunity to join our scaling business in a senior role. 
>> Read in full (January 2023)

Our Impact in 2022

We reflect on our impact in 2022, when we also celebrated 10 years of Women on Boards UK.
>> Read in full (December 2022)

Reflecting on 30 years of corporate governance

Experienced lawyer and governance expert, Alex Tamlyn, reflects on developments in corporate governance over the past 30 years
>> Read in full (November 2022)

Celebrating 10 years of Women on Boards UK

We're proud to have supported thousands of women into the boardroom over the last 10 years. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, and find out how you can be part of the next 10
>> Celebrate with us (September 2022)

The greatest leader of our time

Women on Boards pays tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the greatest leader of our time. 
>> Read in full (September 2022)

Our time is now – my advice for diverse women to build a board career

Experienced NED Nicolina Andall shares her advice to other diverse women considering a board career
>> Find out more (July 2022)

Risk - an enjoyable topic?

Experienced NED Nicolina Andall shares why our recent Modernising Risk Management event with the Risk Coalition, proved that risk could be an enjoyable and engaging topic!
>> Find out more (May 2022)

Leading board diversity into the future

Women on Boards welcomes the launch of the FTSE Women Leaders Review - but calls for greater intersectionality in promoting diversity on boards. 
>> Find out more (Mar 2022)

Three factors that are shifting board diversity to ‘business as usual’ 

Kieran Moynihan of Board Excellence shares why he's feeling optimistic about the direction of board diversity.

>> Find out more (Jan 2022)

The Three Wise Kings of Corporate Governance in 2021

Based on a talk given to Women on Boards' Directors' Circle by Tom Proverbs-Garbett, Senior Associate, Pinsent Masons LLP.

>> Find out more (Dec 2021)

Our impact in 2021

We have increased our network's impact in numerous ways - including the most important: EIGHT members gain a new non-executive role every week. 

>> Find out more (Dec 2021)

How to ask for a pay rise

Free webinar and download to give women the inspiration and information they need to get the salary and seniority they merit.

>> Find out more (Nov 2021) 

whats your gender pay gap?

The deadline for filing Gender Pay Gap reports has passed. But do you know your organisation’s gender pay gap, or even where to find it?

>> Find out more (Oct 2021)

should companies report on board diversity as 'business as usual'?

Women on Boards UK response to the FCA consultation on diversity and inclusion on board and executive teams 

>> Find out more (Sept 2021)

Work with us

Women on Boards UK is recruiting for two Business Development Consultants

>>Find out more (July 2021)


Women on Boards UK support Spktral's #ResetTheTimeline campaign

>> Read full article (May 2021)

congratulations to rowena ironside on a new chair role

Rowena joins leading healthcare charity PSPA as their Chair of Trustees

>> Read full article (April 2021)

what next? the final Hampton-alexander review

The effectiveness of the Review must lead to more, not less, scrutiny of boardroom diversity.

>> Read full article (Feb 2021)

Why leaders need to think differently to succeed in 2021

How traditional linear-thinking is limited in a VUCA context (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous)

>> Read full article (Feb 2021)

how do you solve a problem like a dysfunctional start-up board?

Insights from Kelsey Lynn-Skinner, Technology Partner, IP Group plc

>> Read full article (Jan 2021)

Am i 'strategic enough'?

Our brief self-assessment helps you reflect on how developed your own strategic thinking skills are, and where you may need to develop. 

>> Read full article (Jan 2021)

Quality (street) corporate reporting

A seasonal look at key themes in corporate governance for 2021, by Tanya Gass

>> Read full article (Dec 2020)

Germany extends gender quotas to executive teams

Our take on the news and what it could mean for the UK

>> Read full article (Nov 2020)

navigating a crisis need not compromise quality


Why the Covid-19 crisis could lead to enhanced board decision-making

>> Read full article (Nov 2020)



We are recruiting a part time Social Media Manager to help reach out to inspire more women into the boardroom

>> Read full article (Oct 2020)

women on boards uk welcome a new chair

Fiona Driscoll becomes Chair of our board, as our founding Chair Rowena Ironside steps down but will remain as a board member.

> Read full article (Oct 2020)


Key points on being an non-executive in the NHS (based on our ‘Healthcare Boardroom Insights’ webinar, March 2020)

> Read full articlue (May 2020)



Key lessons from our 'Making decisions in tough times' webinar with Broachreach Consulting 

> Read full article (March 2020)

Supporting staff well-being in the covid-19 pandemic

Drawing on UGM Consulting research into staff well-being, we look at how to apply the lessons in the current Corona virus pandemic.

> Read full article (March 2020)

announcing the 2020 bursary programme

Call for applications is now open. 

> Read full article (Mar 08 2020)

work for us as a financial controller

We are recruiting a qualified accountant for a part-time role.

> Read full article (Feb 2020)

"UK ranked in top four european countries for boardroom gender diversity - but more progress is needed"

*New* European Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index released 

> Read full article (Jan 2020)

"I don't like quotas, but i like what they aim to achieve"

Women on Boards UK' view on the implementation of board gender quotas in California (January 2020)

> Read full article (Jan 2020)

Do women add value on boards?

Not everyone thinks so, yet the evidence has never been stronger. **Two new pieces of research and a real-life example from September 2019**

> Read full article (Sept 2019)

Why join a charity board?

There are many benefits of being a trustee - but one stands out. **Based on notes taken from Women on Boards Boardroom Insights: Charity Boards event, Sept 2019 **

> Read full article (Sept 2019)

Welcome to our two new non-executives

Women on Boards is delighted to announce the appointment of two independent NEDs, following a transparent recruitment process earlier this year

> Read full article (Aug 2019)

Recruiting with Women on Boards

British Pearl and People Innovation's experience of recruiting a new non-executive 

> Read full article (July 2019)

Are you sports board ready?

Apply to join this exciting development opportunity in partnership with Sport England and Perrett Laver

> Read full article here (July 2019)


Latest data on the number of women on boards in the FTSE 350 and Women on Boards' response.

> Read full article here (July 2019)

How strategic are you?

“You need to be more strategic” is very common feedback given to senior executives looking to move into leadership roles. We have produced a self-assessment to help you reflect on how developed your own strategic thinking skills are, and where you may need to develop. 

> Read full article here (May 2019)

Do we really need women's networks?

Key lessons from new research revealing differences in networking for men and women. 

> Read full article here (March 2019)

Cyber resiliance for non-executives: new guidance published

Rowena Ironside's advice on how to approach this key risk 

> Read full article here (March 2019)

Join our board

At Women on Boards UK, we are seeking an independent non-executive director to support our on-going growth and long-term sustainability. 

>Read full role specification (March 2019)

Thoughts on International Women's Day #BalanceforBETTER

An interview with Fiona Hathorn

> Read full article here (March 2019)

A fine balance: Managing expectations on Remuneration Committees

Experienced RemCo member and Chair Moni Mannings and Mercer’s renumeration expert Amanda Flint contributed to a discussion on the challenges of being involved in a Renumeration Committee at our Directors Circle dinner, 29 Jan 2019

> Read full article here (Jan 2019)

Taking control of your life: the rise of the virtual assistant

Christina Reilly is a virtual assistant working with Fiona Hathorn, Women on Board's founder and MD.  Here we outline the benefits to both Christina and our organisation. 

> Read full article here (Jan 2019)

Are you a leader or a manager?

Fiona Hathorn reflects on the importance of investment in leadership capacity. 

>Read full article (Jan 2019) 

Half down, half to go: 55% of higher education boards achieve gender parity

Rachel Tranter updates on progress in the higher education sector, including our members' success... 

>Read full article (December 2018)

What are housing association boards looking for?

The three speakers at our Social Housing Boardroom Insights events were unanimous – a passion for the organisation’s purpose is a vital ingredient for Housing Association board members....

>Read full article (November 2018)

Listen UP if you want people to Speak up - Fiona Hathorn's FCA Article

Corporate UK has seen many individual scandals over the years and these have often been passed off as rogue ‘rotten apple’ incidents. Blips on the way to recruiting leaders who are guided by high moral standards, and won’t succumb to the temptation of selling a product that is not in the best interests of customers. But the reality is that remarkably few companies actually think about the characteristics of a ‘good leader’ when they recruit. Nor the skills they need to lead diverse teams effectively...........

>Read the full article (November 2018)

What I've learnt about being a charity trustee

Gail Emerson, Women on Boards' CRM Marketing Manager, reflects on her time on as Chair of Lambeth Rathbone's board of trustees. 

> Read full article (November 2018)


We welcome the third report of the Hampton-Alexander Review keeping the pressure on the FTSE 350 to increase the gender diversity on their boards towards 33% by the end of 2020, but the challenge is clear..

>Read the full article (November 2018)

Career Tips Advice from Fiona Hathorn

My top advice is to grab opportunities. Look around you and enjoy life to the full. Make a career plan but don’t just follow it blindly. Think big and don’t let landmines get in your way, we have all hit brick walls from time to time but what defines people is how they cope during stressful and challenging situations. But this is what the research says.........

> Read full article (November 2018)

Stepping up to chair: three key steps to take

Some key takeaways from our Directors'  Circle dinner with Mary McLeod, Executive search at Korn Ferry 

> Read full article (October 2018)

Missed out? Move on (but keep in touch)

Rejection is an inevitable part of a board career - here we bring together advice on how to approach it and even benefit from it.

> Read full article (October 2018)

ned awards 2019: who will you nominate?

Nominations are now open for the prestigious NED awards across 6 categories

> Read full article (October 2018)

We don't like quotas though we like what they achieve

Our reaction to California's legislation requiring female board members

>Read full article (October 2018)

Top tips for joining a board

...and how Women on Boards can help

Advice from our founder Fiona Hathorn 

>Read full article (October 2018)

Turn off the spotlights, and turn on the floodlights

Recruiting for diversity

This article was written by our Chair Rowena Ironside for the Public Chairs Forum and was also published by the Association of Chief Executives

> Read full article (August 2018)

Feeling creative?

Arts boards are *not* for you

Summary from our Boardroom Insights: Arts Boards event in September 2018.

> Read full article (Sept 2018)

Cyber security update

5 key questions for boards

Rowena Ironside, Chair of Women on Boards UK and a technology industry veteran, attended the CBI Cyber Security Conference on 12 September 2018 and shares some of her key takeaway’s from the day.

> Read full article (Sept 2018)

Dealing with a strong CEO

Seven DO's and DON'Ts from our Directors' Circle  

We were extremely grateful to Sharon Baylay for sharing some of her thoughts on this topic.  She led an interesting and wide-ranging discussion, pooling the expertise and experience of the Women on Boards subscribers around the table.

Read full article (September 2018)

Reaching your potential or just limping along                    6th September 2018

How to bring strategic thinking into your organisation  


We've all come across those organisations which are, at best, limping along, with employees always under severe pressure and thus never realising their potential. The difference between them and the market leaders is all too often in the quality of their strategic thinking. According to UGM Consulting (UGM) 'most organisations engage in strategy planning and publish their strategies but are not necessarily strategic'.   Their strategies are more operational-type plans, generated by a corporate process or via an unimaginative away day. They might look good but in fact only contain a high degree of certainty with no capacity for unexpected surprises - nothing like the real world!  For some top tips and to read Fiona Hathorn's full article click on this link.


Circumstance matters more when it comes to Ethics                              1st September 2018

Interesting new research, The Princeton Experiment, shows that circumstance has a significant influence on individual behaviour and conduct, implying that it is more than just character that matters. So what ‘circumstances’ are executives and boards creating as regards the culture of their company? This research shows that the 'character-and-code' approach to culture does not stand up to scrutiny. Interestingly it is because of various financial scandals over the last 10 years that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is shining a spotlight on culture and making one of its main areas of focus/priorities. To read about this research click on this link.


Data matters so I was pleased to read some new research this summer (2018) by Ann Owen, Professor of Economics at Hamilton College (Clinton, New York), and Judit Temesvary, a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, which shows yet again a link  between diversity boards, in this case, US holding bank company boards. I believe this to be a very useful data-driven piece of research, particularly for the financial services sector, because it shows that diverse teams (if well managed) help improve the culture of a company and leads to better decision making (as long as conflict is managed well and resolved). To read WOB's full thoughts and views on this new research click this link.

Turning off the spotlight, and turning on the floodlights               

How you can use the revised FRC guidance to push for open recruitment on your board. Read more

Help us improve our support for you                                                                  1st august 2018

We support each stage in your non-executive journey but to offer you the best suited opportunities, we need a little information about you. Please complete some key fields in your WOB profile - see full article for details. 

THe FRC's revised Code - Fiona's Views                                                                   23rd July 2018

The long awaited, revised, Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) corporate governance code has now been published and is available within WOB’s Resource Centre.  This new code, according to the FRC, has been designed set ‘higher standards of corporate governance to promote transparency and integrity in business as well as attract investment in the UK for the long term, benefitting the economy and wider society’. To read our views and find out more click on this link.

Are you looking for new Board members? 

PLEASE help us spread the word and let's help corporate UK get more diversity on their boards

Since our launch in 2012, Women on Boards UK (WOB UK) have advertised 12,000 roles, taken 2000+ support calls and enabled over 1,200 of our subscribers get on boards. Check out our OnBoard Success log via this link; https://www.womenonboards.net/en-GB/About-Us/OnBoard 

It is FREE to advertise board roles on our website. If you want to know how our vacancy board works then click on this link; https://www.womenonboards.net/en-GB/Services/WOB-Vacancy-Board

Let's make a difference and make sure boards know we exist. Spreading the word is the only way to do this so your help would be gratefully appreciated.  We have 23,000 members including 7,600 paid subscribers who receive our unique 1-to-1 support applying for roles.

So given it is free to advertise roles to our community then WHY wouldn't you advertise your board roles on our website, small and large? By advertising roles with us you are widening the net of potentially interested candidates for your board. We see it at as turning off the the spot light, which is currently on the obvious candidates, and turning on the flood lights to the whole of the UK....... and it works!

Below are just a few of the companies that we have found NEDs for over the last few years.

  • Wells Fargo International
  • Tesco Bank
  • BNY Mellon
  • Nomura International
  • Saffron Building Society
  • Perpetual Income and Growth Trust
  • Euroclear Bank 
  • Credit Suisse AM
  • JP Morgan Investment Trust
  • Ford Credit Europe
  • Manchester Met. Uni
  • Financial Reporting Council 
  • HMRC
  • ++++++++++

Many of the above companies, quite rightly, used a headhunter to create their long list of potential candidates, but crucially they have been open and appreciative of the enabling support from WOB UK (helping the applying candidate with pre-interview support and or by advertising their roles). Click on this link below, from the government, to see where we are today as regards achieving the target of 33% for FTSE 350 boards. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ftse-350-urged-to-step-up-to-meet-2020-women-on-boards-targets. We need to do more and you can help by spreading the word.

Corporate UK needs a course on ‘How to disagree without being disagreeable’


Diversity and inclusion if done well leads to equal opportunity. Corporates need to do more to change their culture in a bid to ensure they are more inclusive and are collaborative in meetings so that those with ideas, and different views, have the opportunity to speak. 

Research shows that for teams to ‘fight then unite’ they need to have a trusting and open environment. Performing teams rarely happen by accident, they are usually led by effective leaders who know how to engage, disagree, listen, conclude and then task.  
Very few companies invest in collaborative leadership below the C-Suite. Sadly, it is the ‘permafrost’ layer below the C-Suite that can act as a block to inclusion because this group, in general, it seems have no idea how to be more inclusive.
Just having more women sitting in the boardroom is good but it will not necessarily deliver the desired outcomes as regards better profits and leadership below the board.
Divisional leaders need education and investment to be sure they have the skills to unlock the potential asset afforded by different perspectives, otherwise the asset remains untapped, unmined and unused, according to Margaret Bryne (Leadership Consultant with UGM Consulting). Margaret points out that there is evidence that, minus these leadership skills, diversity can increase conflict, misunderstanding and mistrust.
Margaret's ‘filmed’ corporate leadership research shows that Anglo-Celt males with remarkably similar backgrounds to each other dominated the business critical problem solving and decision making tasks she filmed. Basically she found that people were not thinking together in any meaningful way.
I agree with Margaret Byrne when she days that diversity by itself delivers no particular benefit and can even lower performance. To perform well as leaders people need to add to their diverse teams the skill set that underpins thinking together in a collegial way that benefits the task at hand, in particular the skills involved in disagreement. After all disagreement is as a step in the route towards agreement.
So corporate UK I believe should invest in their leaders below the C-Suite and possibly provide them with a course on ‘How to disagree without being disagreeable’! Having a diverse team that has a range of skills, is business critical so why not invest in helping your leaders and managers disagree with each other?

Drive for more female CEO's Stalls, according to The Sunday Times


In order to get promoted in big companies, women typically need to be significantly better than men, a chameleon in nature and very visible. 

Promoting anyone out of their comfort zone involves risk. Consequently, promoting people with a different background, who do not look like the incumbent leaders is extremely hard for anyone. Historically the women that have succeeded are significantly better than their male counterparts. These women have also been able to break into male-dominated networks with ease; something that men, in general, do not have to work at.

To ensure 'change,' large companies, in my opinion, need to invest in collaborative leadership skills training for the  CEO -1 level, something that I call the permafrost. Because it is this level (divisional leaders) who are currently, often unintentionally, acting as blockers.

Collaborating successfully within the C-Suite, and close to it, is substantially different from collaborating with other teams in an organisation. As a result, senior teams and boards can often be ‘nominal’, rather than ‘real’ teams.  Unfortunately, many at the top fail to appreciate the differences and are not open to women joining them.

To ensure women have nailed the language of interview and can 'win' at a C-Suite stretch interview we run a leadership programme called 'Getting to the C-Suite'. For more information, click on this link and get your company to sponsor you to attend!

Gender Pay Gap Reporting - What now? (11 Apr 2018)


Following the publishing of the UK’s corporate Gender Pay Gap data, a number of our individual subscribers, who are not corporate members, have been in touch to ask ‘what now’? They have seen their company’s top line numbers, are not impressed, and are wondering what they can or should do to further the careers of women/minorities in their companies. Too many are telling us that they have no further information on their division’s, or department’s gender pay gap data, and are fearful of asking for a breakdown for a whole host of reasons. What now => tips and trick article for you, Link.

Why is visibility important? 


If you are visible, managers tend to think that you are more committed to the organisation and therefore to your career.  However the research shows that commitment can come in different packages.  According to UGM Consulting and their research “not everyone – for reasons of gender culture or personality – feels at ease being visible and using assertive impression management tactics to increase their visibility”.   Good leaders recognise this and know that you need to recognise talent and reward ability in all its manifestations, not just one and not just yours. 

UGM ’s research shows that visibility, like it or not, is pivotal in most successful careers because to get to the top you need to be seen to be capable and committed.  The vast majority of women find that they are excluded from influential male networks, often unintentionally, and this can hit hard at promotion prospects by restricting knowledge and connections. This is as true in the executive world as it is in the non-executive world and is a key reason why Women on Boards (WOB) exists.  These are a few of UGM’s tips and research insights;

1.    Make sure you know your managers KPI’s (key performance indicators)
2.    Build a dynamic network and remember it’s not just about numbers of people 
3.    Use every opportunity to connect with others …………. imagine everyone you meet is your friend
4.    Take advantage of those small-talk opportunities at the margins of meetings
5.    Prepare well for meetings and make reasoned arguments whilst being visible!

For UGM Consulting’s full article on ‘How to unlock opportunities by being more visible’ then click on this link.  As an organisation WOB work alongside UGM.  With their knowledge and support we run workshops called ‘On Track for Success’, ‘Managing your Career’ and ‘Getting to the C-suite’, the latter a 6 month modular leadership programme (info link).  If you would like WOB to run an in-house ‘careers’ workshop for your organisation (men included), then please connect with contact@womenonboards.co.uk or visit this website page link.

Getting to the C-Suite, why do women find it so hard?

There are multiple reasons why women struggle not only to get promoted but even to get interviewed for vital ‘stretch’ jobs. For starters, they don’t usually look like the incumbent leaders, which sadly means they are less likely to get interviewed than the male candidates who are often younger versions of the existing leaders.  Research shows that women are in general more collaborative in style, and as a consequence may answer interview questions sounding more like managers than leaders. Further, women often have less ‘inside information’ than the male candidates, which makes it much harder to position themselves convincingly as the best candidate.   
Today, most progressive organisations want .............. To read Fiona's full article about Getting the the C_Suite then click on this link.

Transforming Culture in Financial Services


The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are finally getting serious with regard to the need for boards to outline and understand their company’s culture. Read my full article here about company culture and what you should be doing as a board member. 

Does your company operate a 'Zero Harm' policy on psychological safety?

As Directors you are probably well aware of the importance of Health & Safety but have you thought about your responsibilities around employees' psychological safety? Read the full article here on phychological health & safety and some of your responsibilities around this.