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The Rt. Hon Peter Riddell CBE, Commissioner for Public Appointments, spoke at HSBC Mentee Network

The HSBC Mentee Network meeting of early June had a particular focus on the public, charitable and not-for-profit sectors. Following the start of a collaboration between the Foundation and the Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF), Mr Marcus Agius, Chair of PA Consulting, introduced the session and urged Mentees and Alumnae who are interested in joining a public board to put themselves forward. He explained that sitting on a public board is every bit as challenging and important as being on a private sector board. Marcus then introduced The Rt. Hon Peter Riddell CBE, Commissioner for Public Appointments who spoke about senior women from the private sector taking non-executive roles in a public service body and showcased the opportunities on offer in the public service. Peter Riddell described the Mentees and Alumnae in the room as his "target audience" for achieving continuous improvement in gender diversity on public boards. He anticipates that, over the next five years, there will be more and more bodies that will require Chairs, NEDs and Trustees, as the full impact of Brexit becomes clear and functions that are currently directed from the EU are brought back to the UK.

Continuing with the theme of Non-Executive Directorships in public bodies, three of our Alumnae; Ms Sharon Allen OBE, Chief Executive of Skills for Care Ltd; Ms Vanessa Lawrence CB, Global Geospatial Advisor to the World Bank Group and Ms Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Samaritans, shared with us the narrative of their individual career paths, throwing light upon key decision points, how each had dealt with challenging circumstances, and the importance to each of them of feeling that they are making a positive contribution.