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TMF Team

Peninah Thomson OBE is CEO of The Mentoring Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that owns and manages the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Programme. Peninah’s early career was in the UK Foreign Office and subsequently with NATO, where she worked direct to the Board of NATO National Delegates. After doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, she joined PricewaterhouseCoopers, working for eight years in Government Services and Economics Division, and at Cabinet Office level in India, Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong. Seconded for two years to the UK Cabinet Office and to the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, and promoted director, she then spent four years in PwC’s Corporate Transformation Practice working at board level in FTSE 100 companies.

After leaving PwC, Peninah worked for 14 years as a board-level executive coach with individual male and female senior executives, and with senior teams as groups on strategy, organisational change and leadership. Peninah is an international speaker and broadcaster, and has published four books and refereed articles on women’s leadership and corporate governance. She directs the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Programme, in which almost 70 FTSE 100 Chairs, CEOs and other leaders mentor senior women from just below the board to become credible board candidates or otherwise to progress their careers. This highly successful programme has been running for 15 years in the UK and has been emulated in thirteen countries.

She is co-author of The Changing Culture of Leadership: Women Leaders’ Voices (2000) and later of; A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom (2005), A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom: The Roadmap (2008), Women and the New Business Leadership (2011), and The Rise of the Female Executive: how women’s leadership is accelerating cultural change (2015), all four published by Palgrave Macmillan. Peninah served on the Strategy Group of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. She was a member of the UK Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Advisory Board and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a UK Director of the Center for Talent Innovation, New York. She was awarded an OBE for Services to Women and Equality in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012.


Dr Hilary Lines is an Associate with the Mentoring Foundation, and specialises in helping senior people work creatively with difference, developing their understanding of the roots of relationship tensions in order to provide leadership which delivers business results. She has 25 years’ experience of working with senior leaders across the globe. A driving force for her work is the desire to help people unlock their potential.
Outside of her work with the Foundation, Hilary coaches a number of senior women – individually and in groups – and helps companies look in depth at the organisational factors that need to be addressed to enhance the retention and progression of women within their business. She is the co-author of Touchpoint Leadership: Creating Collaborative Energy across Teams and Organisations (Kogan Page, 2013)


Claire Coe is an Associate with The Mentoring Foundation, and has worked with Peninah Thomson since 2015, assisting with the running of the FTSE Programmes and related activities. Claire has more than 20 years’ experience working as a writer and researcher in the City, with a particular focus on the legal, professional services, financial services and private equity industries.

Claire’s interest in diversity issues and the challenges to women’s progression in the City began early in her career, and she has written extensively on the subject over the past two decades.

Claire is a former Editor of Legal Business, the trade publication for partners of international law firms, and has also written for publications including The Times, The Financial Times, City AM, The Independent, Financial News, The Wall Street Journal Europe, Private Equity News and Private Equity International.


Dr Clare Laurent is an Associate with the Mentoring Foundation, having worked with Peninah Thomson since 2010, where she helps Peninah in the running of the FTSE Programmes and related activities. Clare’s interest in coaching and mentoring began from observing group dynamics in international organisations and how individual coaching work could bring about beneficial changes.  To pursue this, Clare obtained a Masters degree with Distinction from the University of London in Career Management and Coaching.  For her Masters thesis she was given permission by Peninah Thomson to interview 15 of the Programme’s Mentees about their career journeys and how mentoring helped them overcome their obstacles to success.  She is now continuing her research into mentoring processes as a doctorate student alongside her work with the Foundation.

Earlier in her career, Clare worked as a Solicitor in the City from 1990, specialising in internet law and regulation.  She was General Counsel and SVP, Public Policy for AOL Europe from 1998-2002, with a diverse portfolio from supporting multi-million pound commercial advertising deals, acting as company spokesperson for regulators, government and in the media and representing the industry as Chair of the Internet Service Providers Association.  She then joined Hutchison 3G as its Director of External and Regulatory Affairs for Europe where her work included renegotiating critical roaming deals and representing Hutchison before national and international regulators and the Competition Commission.  In 2004 she relocated to Hamburg where she had 2 children before returning to the UK in 2007.


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