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, starting out writing software in Australia; building an IT services business in London; and running international services businesses in the software and hosting industries. Rowena has been a non-executive member of boards in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors since 2006. She has been Chair of Women on Boards in the UK since its launch in 2012 and currently sits on the boards of the Digital Catapult and the Cabinet Office Elections and Registrations Division.

Fiona Hathorn

Managing Director, Women on Boards UK

Fiona is Managing Director of Women on Boards UK and a Patron 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.  Alongside running Women on Boards UK Fiona advises the stockbroker Peel Hunt and is a Judge for the Non Executive Director Awards, sponsored by The Sunday Times.

Rachel Tranter

Executive 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. In 2017 Rachel joined the board of the Amateur FA as an Independent Non Executive Director and she is also an Independent Panel Member for the Ministry of Justice. 

Away from WOB, Rachel is a passionate long distance runner, club tennis player and enjoys long walks with her two Hungarian Vizslas.

Madeleine-Milne-(2).jpgMadeleine Milne

Head of Member Services, Women on Boards UK

Madeleine has worked for a number of subscription based businesses including Haymarket Publishing, eMusic.com and The Daily Telegraph and has most recently been running her own executive search firm in the start-up and scale up space. Madeleine is a governor at an inner London school and is a coach for Parent Gym, the charity that works with inner-city families. She joins Women on Boards UK to look after the network of subscribers and members and help support the growth of the business.

Ancia Cronje

Head of Corporate Partnerships, 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.

Gail emerson 

CRM Manager, Women on Boards UK

Gail is a communications and marketing professional, with a specialism in digital. She has a background in the not-for-profit sector, most recently at Citizens Advice, and supporting start-up and scale-up companies. She is Chair of Trustees at Lambeth Rathbone Society, an innovative charity supporting people with learning disabilities and young people. Gail joined Women on Boards to ensure everyone in the network gets the most out of their membership. 


Anna Lunato

Engagement Manager, Women on Boards UK

Anna works alongside the WOB UK team engaging with existing members to best support them in their journey to the Boardroom, as well as reaching out to external networks to broaden WOB's reach. She previously worked for a number of years in the auction business and succesfullly developed an international client base. More recently Anna worked for a health union, supporting health professionals to gain access to training and personal development in order for them to reach their CPD requirements and further their career development.

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 UK Ambassador and  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 Ambassador and  Masterclass Presenter

Alison held executive board and leadership positions at Mothercare, Lego Retail, George at Asda, Kingfisher and Otto UK and has a range of non-executive roles. 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 and develop themselves effectively. Alison is Non-Executive Director of TPC Consulting, a trustee of Chwarae Teg and a Board Member of Sport Wales. 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 Lead for members in Wales.

Julie Ashworth

Chair, Clear Returns, Chair, Institute of Directors Edinburgh and WOB UK Ambassador, 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 co-leads the Getting to the C-Suite programme. She 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 Ambassador and 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, and Chair, 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.

Dr Malcolm Mcgregor

Facilitator, coach and WOB UK Presenter.  Co-founder of Broadreach.

Following a successful career with a leading UK FTSE Retailer, Malcolm realised a lifetime ambition to sail around the world before commencing a new career as an International Leadership Consultant.   As a Director of Broadreach, he works as a professional facilitator, Executive coach, and program designer to deliver impactful, measurable and sustainable capability growth. Malcolm is currently working domestically in the UK with Sainsbury’s; the Coop Group: Vodafone and Capita, and internationally with Dubai Airports and the Melbourne Business School. 

Malcolm co-leads the Getting to the C-Suite programme.

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 and Ambassador

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 Ambassador and 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. 

Sally is a regular presenter on WOB's London Getting Started Workshop.

Stephanie Hughes

Founder, Farrier Communication and WOB Ambassador and  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.

Vanessa Sharp 

Ned and WOB Ambassador and Presenter    

Vanessa is a non-executive director and risk, legal, compliance and governance professional. She has a background in the regulated professional and financial services industries. Formerly Vanessa was General Counsel and Partner of KPMG where she created the General Counsel function in the UK and Europe and played a critical role in the structuring, governance and risk management of the firm throughout extensive changes nationally and internationally.


Susan Webster

Portfolio NED, Business Consultant and WOB Ambassador and 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. 

Susan is a regular presenter on WOB's Getting Started Workshop in Manchester and Leeds.

Tanya Castell MBE

Non-Executive Director and WOB UK Ambassador and 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. Tanya 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, Co-Lead, DeepMind Ethics and Society

Verity joined Google in 2013, initially as Public Policy Manager for Google UK, and most recently joint head of the DeepMind Ethics & Society unit (DMES).  Prior to joining Google, 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.

Sarah Perris                                                                              

Non-Executive Director, Trustee and Wob UK Ambassador and  Workshop Presenter​ 

Sarah is Managing Partner of Perris-Myatt, which helps individuals and organisations from grass-roots to global to build their brands and to enhance their reputation by communicating more productively with internal and external audiences.  She is an experienced executive and non-executive director, trustee and board advisor in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.  Currently a Trustee for the Twin & Multiple Birth Association and for the Eifion Trust.  Previously de-facto Director for Bentley Motors and a school Governor.

Marian Evans 

Non executive Director, Business Founder, WOB UK Ambassador and Presenter

Marian is the founder and Director of Elevate BC Ltd and was recently awarded ‘UK Mentor of the Year 2018 (Women in Financial Advice Awards). A qualified Executive Coach, a Chartered Insurance Broker and Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), Marian is also one of only 5 individuals in Wales to be awarded the Fellowship of the Institute of Leadership and Management, the highest level awarded by the Institute. 
Now a multiple business owner Marian was previously executive director at Thomas Carroll Group leading the Special Risks division. And prior to this Marian had worked her way up from the grass roots at NFU Mutual where she was one of the youngest and first women in the history of the organisation to hold a number of positions as she climbed the ranks. 

Marian is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Cirencester Friendly Society Ltd Board a school governor and Executive and NED Coach. 


Lynne Cadenhead                                                                                Lynee-Cadenhead.jpg

A serial entrepreneur, Lynne has over 20 years’ investment experience, investing in, mentoring and nurturing a range of early stage technology and retail companies throughout the UK. She has worked with a wide portfolio of technology companies, from pharmaceuticals and polymers, to prosthetics and optics and has also managed two early stage technology venture capital funds, served on over 30 boards and started up a number of her own companies.
Currently Lynne is involved with several early stage technology companies as director and investor, mainly in the fields of cyber security, artificial intelligence and emotional management.  She is a key influencer on the Leadership in Board Governance Programme at Edinburgh Napier University and in 2017 the University awarded her the prestigious title of Visiting Professor in Governance and Enterprise.
Lynne is a long-standing member of two Edinburgh Napier University Boards, a member of Technology Scotland Advisory Board, Chairman of UNICEF Scotland Advisory Board and Chairman of Women's Enterprise Scotland.