About Women on Boards

Women on Boards is an action-oriented social enterprise supporting women seeking to leverage their professional skills and experience into non-executive director and other board level roles. 

Women on Boards exists to help women make the right connections and career choices to get to board level within their own company or to take on a non-executive board role.  We are lowering the barriers to entry to the boardroom and building the pipeline of board-ready women.

There are many different types of boards, all of which need directors or trustees, including charity boards, Public Sector boards and committees, housing associations, education and sports bodies, NHS Trusts - all the way up to FTSE Boards.  However women are under-represented in all sectors; they are less likely than men to be asked to join a board and many lack information about how to access these roles successfully.  

For a short introduction to why Women on Boards exists, watch this 3 minute video clip

For media enquiries please contact Jenna Gould via email or +44 845 094 9658 or 07958 263708

What we do

1: Build the pool of female board members and role models by providing the information, connections and encouragement to ensure more women are appointed to boards across all sectors.

  • We are helping women to understand their transferable skills and to make the right connections to access board positions
  • We provide a strategic framework for getting a board role

2: Increase the transparency of the board recruitment process through our NED vacancy board (free service to any organisation seeking a board member) and our work with head-hunters and the government to “turn off the spotlight and turn on the floodlights” when recruiting board members. 

  • We are actively encouraging recruiters to open up their field of vision by advertising more board positions
  • We provide visibility into a broad range of board vacancies to inspire women to apply

3: Advocacy around issues affecting women and leadership:

  • We are challenging organisations to know their gender participation data and to set measurable targets where diversity is lacking
  • We are asking the next UK government to commit to mandatory gender targets for the boards of Public Bodies. See our 40:40:20 campaign.

What makes WOB unique?

Women on Boards is part of a growing ecosystem of organisations and networks promoting and supporting women into leadership roles.  The unique value of being part of the WOB network is the ongoing personal support that WOB provides to subscribers.  This includes individual help with your board strategy, board profile and interview preparation and personal introductions to experienced directors who can provide advice and encouragement in specific interview situations.  So coming to a workshop or event is not a one-off experience with WOB.  This personal support, coupled with the rich collection of information in the WOB Resource Centre and on our Vacancy Board and the commitment of the WOB team to your success, are what makes WOB unique.

So we hope you will join us in our mission for transparency and open information.  And if you like what we do, get engaged.  Don’t just sign-up to our website as a free member, subscribe for just £120 (incl. VAT) and help us to build the next generation of female directors.

See a list of frequently asked questions on our FAQ page for more information. 

You can also watch a short video of how WOB helps individuals wanting NED or trustee roles.

The Context

The final update on the Lord Davies report challenge of getting to 25% women on FTSE boards by 2015 was published in March of this year. Targets accompanied by exposure and peer pressure have delivered good progress across the FTSE350 - at least as far as non executive directors go. But much remains to do, in particular increasing the % of female executive directors which remains shockingly low at 8.6% in the FTSE100 and 4.6% in the FTSE250.

This absence of women from the senior ranks of organisations and politics is rooted in history.  Women were only granted the vote in the UK in 1918 and up until 1968, Cambridge University did not award degrees to women.  And it is only in the last 50 years that contraception has enabled women to choose the size and timing of their families.  So most organisations were designed by men for men; and these cultures are proving difficult to change: 

  1. One reason is that very few boards have access to good data about where and when they are losing women from the organisation; 
  2. Another is that unconscious bias and gender stereotypes run deep in all of us and play a significant part in determining who succeeds; 
  3. And thirdly, there’s the myth of meritocracy.  People shy away from setting gender targets because they believe that this undermines merit - but merit is a subjective concept whose rules are defined by the dominant culture.

References:
- "Sex and Power 2013: Who runs Britain?" Centre for Women and Democracy
- "The Female FTSE Board Report 2015: Putting the UK Progress into a Global Perspective".Cranfield University School of Management

Foundation Sponsors

Women on Boards in the UK is delighted to receive support from four foundation sponsors:

 

  

Corporate Members

A number of global corporations are now members of Women on Boards UK including; J.P. Morgan, Bank of New York Mellon, BNP Paribas, UBS, Google, Aspen Insurance and WPP.

For our full list of corporate subscribers, click here.

For a short introduction to what WOB does for organisations and their employees, watch this short video clip.

Charity

Since our launch, Women on Boards has endorsed the charity Wellbeing of Women.  Our launch events generated over £3,500 for the charity and our events in 2013 and 2014 £4,880, giving a total of donated of nearly £8,500.  Wellbeing of Women was established in 1964 and has been raising funds since then to invest in medical research and the development of specialist doctors and nurses working in the field of reproductive and gynaecological health. 

To register with Women on Boards (free), please click here

 

Featured Event

29May2015

Inspiring Women Reflect

in association with the ANZ Festival of Literature & Arts

London