Telling my leadership story

IWF LogoA few years ago I was privileged to be invited to join the International Women’s Forum UK, a network of women with who have all demonstrated substantial achievements in the widest possible variety of fields, from business to media, science to charity.  I am delighted to have been asked by the Forum for my ‘leadership story’ for the newly launched website. It was a real treat to take the time out to think about the questions they asked and understand what has really made a difference to me throughout my career. I recognised that it’s often the small stuff that makes the biggest difference, but I don’t always reflect on those things. So thank you, IWF UK, for prompting me to do so!

A masterclass in the prospects for business

On 14 March I was privileged to attend a Masterclass dinner hosted by Grant Thornton with Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-general of the CBI, as the speaker. She gave a commanding and fascinating speech covering a wide range of issues ranging from Brexit to inequality of productivity across the UK. I learnt far too many things to list here, but I won’t forget her comments about the number of import/export challenges businesses will face if we don’t handle things well when leaving the EU.  I know there’s a great deal of work going on behind the scenes in government departments from my various roles across the public sector. We need to keep that up for the good of British business!

BDF Annual President’s Dinner


Last month I attended the annual President’s Group dinner hosted by Lloyds Group in the City. The President’s Group brings  together the leaders of the Business Disability Forum’s partners to identify and discuss the strategic challenges of becoming disability-smart.

I shared a table with an impressive group of talented people that made for an thought-provoking evening. There were some interesting and lively discussions on improving employment opportunities and services for disabled people.

Spending an evening in such company makes me realise that we can make progress on the inclusion of disabled people in society when we work together.


How to Balance the Roles of Chair and CEO

AOC logo


On 20th September, along with the Chair of Community Action:MK Sheila Thornton, I was delighted to present at a joint event in Milton Keynes. This Association of Chairs (AoC) and CA:MK event was sponsored by Grant Thornton and hosted in a large and airy meeting room at Spinal Injuries Association HQ.

Entitled ‘A Quality Double Act’ the focus of the evening was to better understand the differences in the roles of the Chair and the CEO, and importantly how to achieve a balance between the two. We also explored the key challenges organisations are facing at the moment.

This event provided a great opportunity for local Chairs and Vice-chairs as well as executive staff of non-profit organisations to learn more of the work of the AoC, the resources they provide to support Chairs, and the resources available locally to non-profits. Click here to find out more about the AOC.


Vibrant Economy Commission

Vibrant Economy Logo

I was delighted to be asked to be a member of the Vibrant Economy commission, instigated by Grant Thornton, and enjoyed our first informal meeting on 27 June in London.

This independent commission is seeking to stimulate ideas and actions that can create a vibrant economy – one which realises the shared potential of companies, cities, people and communities across the UK.

We will be looking at the challenges and the opportunities for nurturing a vibrant economy by focusing on three areas:

Vibrant Economy Commission

And on 6 July the exhibition: 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy launched at ual: in Kings Cross demonstrating just what a creative, inspiring and diverse group of people can achieve across all walks of life!

Mentoring Triple Bronze Medallist Paralympic Swimmer

MenteeIt has been a busy few months with a lot happening! One new endeavour that stands out, however, is my first face-to-face meeting with my new mentee, Susie Rodgers. Susie is an multi-award winning athlete who won triple bronze for the GB paralympic swimming team at London 2012 and is looking to develop her career in the nonprofit sector.


As a member of the International Woman’s Forum, I am proud to be mentoring Susie as part of EY’s Women Athletes Business Network 2016 mentoring programme. This programme helps elite athletes transition from a career in sport to other professional careers.


I look forward to offering Susie support and guidance over the coming year to help her reach her goals.

Developing new NICE Guidelines for Adult Social Care


I’m privileged to be chairing the newly formed committee that will develop NICE guidelines on improving the experience of people using adult social care services, in conjunction with the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care.  The guidelines will make evidence-based recommendations on how to improve adults’ experiences of social care services; these will apply to all settings where care is delivered (people’s own homes, residential care and community settings).

For people who use social care, the way in which it is delivered – how we experience it – can make the difference between just existing from day to day and living as full a life as possible. That’s why I am looking forward to helping those who deliver social care and those who use it to understand what good looks like and what we can expect.

The scope of the project has been finalised and we are now calling for evidence until 30 March 2016. So watch this space!

For project information or to register as a stakeholder please see

Talk to Emerging Leaders

Leadership talk at Windsor Leadership TrustOn the 17 November I was invited to share some of my leadership experiences with a group of leaders at St George’s House in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The event was hosted by the Windsor Leadership Trust, a charity that aims to inspire the leaders of today and tomorrow to transform themselves, their organisation and society for the better.


The evident enthusiasm and talent of this group of emerging leaders was energising. One of my key messages was the importance of knowing ourselves as leaders and embracing our strengths (as well as finding those who can balance out our weaknesses!), so we are better able to achieve our leadership goals.


Afterwards we were invited to attend Evensong in the historic St George’s Chapel. It was a privilege to be a part of this service in such beautiful surroundings.