Ancia Cronje - Head of Corporate Partnerships
Maria Blakley - Corporate Lead
Laura Dabbs - Customer Service and Engagement Manager
John Dembitz- Non-executive Chair
Gail Emerson - Head of Member Engagement
Julia Fuller - Customer Experience and Business Intelligence Manager
Tanya Gass - NED Search Lead
Fiona Hathorn - Founder and CEO
Rowena Ironside - Founder and Non-executive Director
Lisa Jones - Ambassador, Adviser, Consultant and Presenter
Victoria Kemble - Financial Controller
Christina Reilly - Events Manager & Executive Assistant
Charlotte Stillwell - Digital Marketing Manager
Rachel Tranter - Founder and Executive Director
Meena Anand - Presenter
Nicolina Andall - Ambassador and Presenter
Julie Ashworth - Lead for Scotland, Presenter, Adviser and Ambassador
Annie Coleman - Corporate Presenter
Louis Cooper - Presenter
Fiona Daniel - Ambassador and Presenter
Sally Duckworth - Presenter
Marian Evans - Presenter
Rebecca Ganz - Lead for the North West and Ambassador
Sonia Gayle - Presenter
Eiman Hassan - Ambassador for Canada
Ali Harrison - Ambassador and Presenter
Stephanie Hughes - Ambassador and Masterclass Presenter
Farhana Mahbub - Ambassador for Canada
Suparna Malhotra - Presenter
Malcolm McGregor - Presenter
Sarah Perris - Lead for the North West, Ambassador and Presenter
Vanessa Sharp - Ambassador and Presenter
Alison Thorne - Lead for Wales, Ambassador and Presenter
Susan Webster - Ambassador and Presenter
Head of Corporate Partnerships
Ancia is a chartered Industrial Psychologist with the South African Health Professions Council. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in finance, engineering and transportation. She is a strong believer in diversity as a cornerstone for growth and development. Ancia is an expert in the areas of leadership, culture and change, who has maximised her experience to influence strategic transformation in the sectors she represented.
Ancia currently holds a trustee role on the board of Kanjanji Orphan Project, a UK based charity in Zambia.
Maria is a programmes and partnerships Director, with a deep specialism in advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and driving inclusive cultural change. Maria was responsible for the development of POWERful Women, a gender diversity initiative for the UK energy sector. She worked with the top UK company CEOs and EDI Leads to monitor the sector, increase executive and non-executive gender diversity and create more inclusive workplaces. She also created a highly effective C-Suite mentoring programme.
Passionate about helping underrepresented groups achieve their potential and a natural collaborator, Maria is an avid signposter to good practice and works with corporates to define 'what works well' and identify how and where our talent retention and career management support can be most impactful.
Maria studied British Cultural Studies as the first in her family to go to university, she is passionate about supporting women in their careers and contributing to strategies that support women to thrive.
Customer Service and Engagement Manager
Laura shapes the 'first point of contact' for Women on Boards, creating the friendly, constructive service we pride ourselves on. She also leads on engaging with external partners whose services may be relevant to our members, or visa versa.
Laura is a board member at HealthWatch Hillingdon , which works to amplify patient and public voice across NHS services and social care in the borough. Laura began her career at Merlin Entertainments, leading customer service teams in attractions including Madame Tussaud’s, The London Eye and SEALIFE London Aquarium. She then moved on to manage customer service in digital environments such as Crowdsurge and JUST EAT. Laura joined Women on Boards from ZSL where she managed customer service and membership across the charity and both zoos.
John is chairman of TITUS International, Anstey Horne, Boyden UK & Ireland, FromHereOn; and a non-executive director of Venquis, and Cripps. In addition to his directorships, John serves on the board of charities, undertakes mentoring/coaching and supports start-ups.
In 1975, John joined McKinsey & Co, then appointed Group Executive with Consolidated Goldfields, followed by a period as an executive director with Charterhouse Bank. In 1985, he was appointed CEO of Valin Pollen Ltd, a leading corporate and financial communications consultancy. In 1990, John and his brother built IDOM SA, a banking/IT consultancy, acquired by Deloitte & Touche in 1995/1996.
John has a BSc Hons from Manchester University and an MBA from London Business School, where he was a member of the Global Advisory Council.
Head of Member Engagement
Gail is a communications and marketing professional, with a background in driving engagement for membership organisations (both organisational and individual). She is focused on how Women on Boards can maximise the value we deliver to our members, as well as growing our network. Gail has worked across the private and not-for-profit sectors, including at Citizens Advice, Toynbee Hall and supported a wide variety of start-up and scale-up companies.
Gail is a trustee on the board of Zetetick Housing Charity where she leads the Customer Engagement Committee. Previously, she chaired the trustee board of the Lambeth Rathbone Society, a social care charity supporting people with learning disabilities and young people. The appointment was only intended as a ‘maternity leave project’ but turned into six years initially as a trustee, then stepping up to Chair.
Customer Service and Engagement Manager
Julia is the 'first point of contact' for Women on Boards, creating the friendly, constructive service we pride ourselves on.
Julia is a qualified accountant with a career at Reuters (later Thomson Reuters) spanning 25 years. She progressed through a number of roles across Finance, the Reuters Foundation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environment, Health & Safety. Her time with Thomson Reuters finished with a six-month secondment to the global Diversity and Inclusion team where she developed a number of foundation-building elements presenting to C-suite executives. Julia then changed career to become a primary teacher rising to Assistant Head Teacher. Julia has held a number of board positions including as School Governor and a Trustee with Bexley and Greenwich Community Hospice and Greenwich Action for Voluntary Service.She has additional voluntary experience providing strategic advice to the John Paul II Foundation for Sport and undertaking a stakeholder engagement project for Social Business Trust. Julia holds an MA in Catholic School Leadership.
Recruitment Lead, Bespoke NED Search
Tanya works with co-founder Rachel Tranter assisting recruiting boards to find NED candidates from the Women on Boards talent pool.
Tanya is also a solicitor and governance trainer. She started her career as a corporate finance lawyer at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, then moved on to advise AIM firms at Gouldens. In 2010, she set up her training practice and has since developed a stellar reputation as a legal and governance trainer. Tanya has worked with boards of all types from start-ups to FTSE 250 firms, as well as providing legal training to lawyers, company secretaries and accountants. In addition to encouraging recruiters to widen their NED searches, Tanya brings her deep knowledge of governance and diversity of thought to Women on Boards' member events and talks to the wider community about finding diverse talent.
Founder and CEO
Fiona is the CEO of Women on Boards UK alongside advising a number of different boards and organisations. Currently she is an Advisory Panel Member for the FRC (Financial Reporting Council), an Advisory Board Member to Spktral (a technology company that helps organisations simplify the gender pay gap reporting process), advisor to Peel Hunt (mid-cap stockbroker) and Chair of Hanx's Nominations Committee (FMCG start-up). She is an expert in the areas of Governance, Regulation and Talent Management who has sat on both marketing and audit & finance committees. Fiona is also a Patron of Fight for Sight (a medical research charity) and was formerly a director for Hill Samuel Asset Management. She has advised the board of the Thai Euro Fund and is a Judge for the Non Executive Director Awards, sponsored by The Sunday Times. In 2020 Fiona joined King's College London's 'Global Institute for Women's Leadership' Advisory Board.
Founder and Non-executive Director
Rowena is a founding director of Women on Boards in the UK. She 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 was executive Chair of Women on Boards in the UK from its launch in 2012 until October 2020 and currently also sits on the boards of the Digital Catapult and the Steering Committee of The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute as well as chairing the board of the healthcare charity PSPA.
Business Angel Investor, NED, Women on Boards Consultant, 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.
Vicky qualified as a Chartered Global Management Accountant back in 2007 having worked as EMEA Finance Manager for an international business risk consultancy. While there, she was also involved in setting up a joint venture with a US pre-employment screening business.
More recently she worked as Global Financial Director and Company Secretary within a pharmaceutical market research-based brand consultancy where quality research was of the upmost importance. She then separately ran a due diligence project and helped see this business through to sale before taking a career break and then joining Women on Boards.
During her career break Vicky got involved in a local steering committee with a view to opening a free school locally and is now Finance Trustee and Vice Chair of Trustees of a primary academy trust in West London.
Founder and Chair of WOB Australia and NED of Women on Boards UK
Ruth is a Certified Practising Accountant and former IT professional who has been pursuing a career as a Non-Executive-Director since 2000. She was the founding chair of Women on Boards and in this capacity has been instrumental in the growth of the business and supported many thousands of women to become board members. She maintains wide interests outside of WOB, including in the start-up sector and angel investing as well as her other board and committee roles. Ruth was previously the chair of Australian Ethical Superannuation, a member of the NSW Casino Control Authority and a director of the Infants Home at Ashfield. Prior executive roles include executive director of the Australian Association of National Advertisers and senior positions with Telstra, the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and the Federal Government.
Digital Marketing Manager
Charlotte works both to expand our reach online and ensure our current members enjoy a rich experience. A specialist in online community building, Charlotte leads on our social media channels and our email communications.
Charlotte has worked with a number of small/medium businesses on their digital marketing, after leaving a career in the civil service. She worked in a range of roles at BEIS, including direct support at Ministerial level. Her work on digital policy for SMEs inspired her to retrain for a more 'hands-on' role as a digital marketing manager for small/medium businesses herself.
Events manager and Executive assistant
Christina co-ordinates Women on Boards' varied events programme. She also provides administrative support to Fiona Hathorn, our CEO, to enable her to spend her time most impactfully. Highly adaptable and customer-focused, Christina works hard to ensure that Women on Boards' members enjoy a seamless experience when attending our events, whether virtual or face-to-face.
Christina built a strong reputation for organisation and efficiency as an Executive Assistant to senior leadership in the Investment Banking sector at firms including Evercore and Jefferies.
Christina has also gained non-executive experience herself, as Co-Chair for Windmill Pre-School in Ivinghoe.
Founder and Executive Director
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.
Women on Boards is fortunate to be supported by many fabulous women and 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.
Non-executive director at Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust and Origin; Trustee for Community Schools Trust; Board Advisor for an HR publication based in Asia; Founder of The Careers Company; Women on Boards Presenter.
Meena currently serves as a Non-executive Director at Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust; Non-Executive Director at Origin, a community-based housing association; as a Trustee for Community Schools Trust, Multi Academy Trust and a Board Advisor for an HR publication based in Asia.
Meena is an experienced Human Resources professional. She was the Managing Director and Chief HR Officer for the 30,000 strong Global Business Services arm of Standard Charted Bank based out of Malaysia.
In addition to her Board work, Meena recently founded The Careers Company and has particular interest in working with under-represented groups in the world of work e.g. women, BAME, those from lower socio-economic groups and neuro-divergent colleagues.
Solicitor, Public Appointee, Trustee, Women on Boards Ambassador and Presenter
Nicolina is an experienced Senior Corporate Commercial Solicitor, having advised corporate business leaders for 20 years on a wide range of business legal issues, regulation and compliance. Nicolina features on the Cranfield 100 Women to Watch 2020 List and has extensive board level experience at a variety of commercial, government and not for profit organisations. Over the last few years, she has been an Independent Panel Member for the Ministry of Justice working with Chairs, CEOs and Civil servants on senior level recruitment campaigns recommending NEDs and Judicial Members (Parole Board of England and Wales) to Ministers for Public Appointment. This led to her own Public Appointment sitting on the London Advisory Committee, Lord Chancellor’s Department with responsibility for the recruitment of Magistrates in the London area. She is delighted to be a mentor to many and a long standing inspirational speaker for young people. Nicolina seeks to encourage women and diverse candidates to step up and be an influential voice in society.
Chair of The University of Aberdeen, Chair of The IoD Edinburgh, Women on Boards Presenter and Advisor
Julie is Chair of the Board of the University of Aberdeen and Vice-Chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland, as well as being an Advisory Board member for the Scottish Business Network. She has previously held non-executive roles with George Watson's College and the Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh among several others, and spent 3 years as Chair of an award winning retail tech start-up. .
Julie is CEO of Broadreach, providing specialist leadership consulting services to global blue-chip companies. Julie works extensively as an Executive Mentor and coach with various FTSE 100 companies. She has held Retail Director roles with Liberty of London and Punch Taverns and was Executive Partner at IBM with responsibility for retail across EMEA and the US. She began her corporate career with Tesco, leaving her role as a senior executive to compete in the Round the World Yacht race.
Julie lives in Edinburgh and is our Women on Boards Lead for Scotland. Julie leads Women on Boards' 'Getting to the C-Suite' Leadership programme and delivers different types of our Board CV support offer and mentoring.
Executive Leadership Coach and organisational culture consultant, NED and international speaker, Women on Boards Presenter
Annie is an Executive Leadership Coach and organisational culture consultant, NED and international speaker, focusing on culture transformation, inclusion and diversity, and strategic brand management to drive business performance. Her purpose is to help humanise the workplace and future of work one leader, one organisation at a time.
Formerly Annie was Group Head of People and Culture, sitting on the Group Executive Committee for UniCredit, an 80,000 plus pan European retail, corporate and investment bank. Prior to that, she was Global Head of Culture and Client Marketing for UBS Investment Bank (9 years). At UBS, in the 'culture' role, Annie was responsible for driving the cultural transformation of the Investment Bank from one of a culture of compliance to one of accountability and excellence resulting in IFR Investment Bank of the Year. Annie also spent eight years with Goldman Sachs in a similar role.
Chief Executive, Non-Executive Directors' Association (NEDA), Women on Boards Presenter
Louis Cooper is a non-executive director of NEDA, specialising in corporate governance, risk management and internal control training, consulting and advisory services. Louis sits on the Quoted Company Alliance Corporate Governance Committee, is a member of the Institute of Risk Management Special Interest Group on Risk Innovation and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors.
CEO and Founder, FD21, Women on Boards Presenter
Fiona is the CEO and Founder of FD21, a consultancy company that is all about shifting from diversity to inclusion. To meet Fiona and to listen to her talking about D&I, and why belonging matters, click on this video link.
Fiona has been active in diversity and inclusion for over 20 years, even before the phrase became popular when she was working for HSBC. Her D&I interest started off as a side desk activity but grew over time into her becoming Head of D&I for HSBC UK and Ireland. Fiona is an inspirational speaker who is passionate about the need to embrace her own difference to make a difference.
CEO, Portfolio NED and Women on Boards 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.
Non executive Director, Business Founder, Women on Boards 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.
Non-executive Director, Entrepreneur & C-Suite adviser and Women on Boards Lead for the North West
Rebecca Ganz (aka Becks) is an ex-pat who successfully kickstarted her Non-Exec career in August 2018. With a range of Chair, Non-Exec & Advisory Board roles, which span Education, Institutional Health and Business sectors, Becks knows what it takes to strategically build a Non Exec portfolio, while continuing to grow her Entrepreneur and C-Suite coaching practice. Becks is Chair of BlueSkeye AI Ltd and IFM Bolton Ltd, Non-Exec of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Trustee of Leodis Multi Academy Trust and Advisory Board Member for Patchwork Health. For further background on Becks, please see www.rebecca-ganz.com
Non-executive Director and Women on Boards Presenter
Sonia Gayle is a charity trustee and Risk and Governance Committee Chair. In her spare time, she mentors’ executives and emerging talent, and is also a community volunteer for the British Red Cross. Sonia is an MBA graduate and Chartered Banker and previously worked in the financial services sector for over 25 years in various senior roles including: regulatory policy (FSA), consultancy services (EY), and risk management advisory (HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and AEGON). She is a Fellow of the International Compliance Association, FT NED Diploma holder and is also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Non Executive Director, Trustee, Women on Boards Ambassador and Workshop Presenter
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.
Founder, Farrier Communication, Women on Boards 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.
Executive Coach, Speaker, Trustee and Workshop Presenter
Suparna is an in-demand, professional development executive coach, speaker and facilitator, working with Founders and C-Suite executives.
As a leadership specialist, Suparna helps clients to learn and practice tried and tested techniques and to discover valuable, practical tools they can use every day to consistently deliver on their professional and personal mission, as aligned with the organisation’s.
She covers all aspects of leadership & career development, including confidence, finding a voice at the table, peer-to-peer relations and Imposter Syndrome, and supports leaders in developing a succession pipeline.
Dr Malcolm Mcgregor
Facilitator, Coach and 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.
Non-Executive Director, Trustee, Women on Boards 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. She is currently Vice Chair of Sharks Community Trust and trustee of the Twins Trust. Previously de-facto Director for Bentley Motors and a school Governor.
NED, Women on Boards Ambassador and Workshop 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.
Alison has developed a non-executive career and is currently a Governor of Cardiff Metropolitan University; an Independent Panel Member of the Welsh Government's Public Appointments service; and a Board Member of Sport Wales. Until 2021, she was Chair of the leading equality charity Chwarae Teg and a trustee for six years.
Alison previously held executive board and leadership positions at Otto UK, George at Asda, Mothercare, Lego Retail, and Kingfisher with B&Q. Following 2 years as a partner in a boutique executive search company, Alison set up 'atconnect' an executive search and people development company in 2010 which includes mentoring individuals at transition points in their careers.
Alison is based in Cardiff and is the Women on Boards Lead for Wales. She delivers Women on Boards' CV Masterclass and our 'Becoming an Effective Chair' programme, as well as providing 1-on-1 Board CV reviews and mentoring across non-executive and executive careers.
Portfolio NED, Business Consultant, Women on Boards 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.
Women on Boards Canadian Ambassadors
Director of Operations and Program Management, Alphawave IP, NED and Women on Boards Ambassador
Eiman Hassan, Director of Operations and Program management at Alphawave IP is a PMP and engineer with 20+ years leading change initiatives, program management and consensus building in Russell 3000 companies and start-ups.
Eiman contributes as a NED in her community and has served as a NED for a private school through a major business transition and as a local chapter volunteer and treasurer for Scouts Canada.
She has held leadership positions in large corporate structures as well as in fast paced start-ups, honing her ability to drive customized solutions for organizational success.
Director, RBC Capital Markets and Women on Boards Ambassador
Farhana Mahbub, Director, Strategic Initiatives at RBC Capital Markets, is a delivery-oriented professional who is passionate about transformational change and developing world-class implementation capabilities. Prior to RBC, she worked at CIBC, Canada Life and Teva Pharmaceuticals. In these roles she led large scale programs and change management in risk, regulatory compliance and retail functions.
Farhana, is passionate about philanthropic work and advancing women in leadership roles. She gives back to the community by volunteering at Women in Leadership Foundation Toronto as Chapter Head and Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation as an Executive Director.