Our Publications and Platform Events

Here you can find details of speaking engagements, as well as links to our various responses to consultations; Peninah Thomson’s books, and some of our research, as well as transcripts of speeches where available.


Platform Events

Over the 19 years that the FTSE Programme has been running, CEO Peninah Thomson has spoken at many events. Here are some examples:

Peninah Thomson speaking at the Women of The Square Mile conference, February 2018

Speaking on "getting the most out of mentoring" Peninah explored what mentoring (as opposed to sponsorship or coaching) really means, and considered the characteristics of a successful mentoring relationship.

Using case studies and anecdotes from her experience of working with 240 mentoring pairs, she suggested why cross-company and cross-industry work adds so much value, and shared hints and tips for mentees on how to benefit from mentoring opportunities when they arise.

For more information about the conference, please click here.


Peninah Thomson interviewed by The Conference Board on The Rise of the Female Executive: How Women’s Leadership is Accelerating Cultural Change

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest to provide the world’s leading organisations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society.

Peninah joined Anne Stevens, Council Director, The Conference Board and former VP People & Organisation, Rio Tinto Copper, in a webcast to give insights into some of the central themes of her recent book, The Rise of the Female Executive: How Women’s Leadership is Accelerating Cultural Change.


Peninah Thomson Co-Hosted McKinsey Non-Executive Director/Trustee Teach-In

A Non-Executive Director/Trustee Teach-in as part of the McKinsey Women as Leaders series of events, took place at the end of 2013 in McKinsey’s offices at 1 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 4UH.


Peninah Thomson spoke at Meyler Campbell on ‘Women on Boards: Coaching the Pipeline of Female Talent’

Companies which are serious about identifying their talented women and accelerating their progress need to build a robust ‘pipeline’ of high potential women, actively developing them to increase their progression rate to senior executive grades. Coaching plays a significant role in the efficacy of this pipeline. Properly targeted coaching has a dual impact: it benefits the individual women and their careers, and also the companies in which they are enabled to make an enhanced contribution, stepping up to ‘take their seat at the table’ and to play a meaningful part at the most strategic and influential levels. This event took place on 14 November 2013.

International Parliamentary Conference on Gender and Politics
  Click here to download notes of Peninah Thomson’s speech, 8th November 2012


Books, Articles and Research

Peninah Thomson is the co-author of five books on aspects of women’s leadership and participation at senior levels in UK corporate life. These books have helped many companies, and thousands of individual women, to address issues – both on the ‘supply side’ and the ‘demand side’ – relating to both real and perceived obstacles that can hinder women in progressing their careers. The Changing Culture of Leadership, published privately in 2000, is now hard to find but if you click on the other four titles you will be taken to the Amazon website. Peninah’s most recent book, co-authored by Clare Laurent, The Rise of the Female Executive: how women’s leadership is accelerating cultural change, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2015.


An article published in the Financial Times Governance Magazine in December 2012 summarised the creation and intent of the FTSE 100® Cross-Company Mentoring Pipeline Programme.
  Click here to download the FT Governance Magazine article about the Pipeline Programme (Dec 2012)


Research Papers

The Foundation enjoys unparalleled access to business leaders and influencers, alongside its own considerable expertise in the field of gender diversity. We bring together this knowledge in research papers and publications on issues connected with women’s leadership and participation, as well as the challenges faced by senior women executives in the UK.

If you would like to download these research papers, please click here to register.


Independent Research

The Mentoring Foundation supports high quality independent research that advances our understanding of women’s careers and how mentoring can assist them. Clare Laurent completed a dissertation as part of her Masters studies at Birkbeck, University of London, on the obstacles women face and how mentoring can help to overcome them. 15 Mentees from the FTSE Executive Programme took part and were interviewed by Clare about their experiences. Their anonymous data were used to analyse successful women’s experience of barriers to breaking into the most senior ranks of large corporations, and what they felt helped in their mentoring relationships. Clare was awarded a Distinction for her research and is now continuing it through the Birkbeck PhD programme. Her thesis will examine the perspectives (on the same questions) of both Mentors and Mentees engaged in mentoring relationships with each other, and will look at how these views evolve over time. Interviews will be conducted with four mentoring pairs to enable in-depth exploration of individual stories. Again, all data will be anonymised and confidentiality protected at all times. Extracts used in Clare’s thesis will remain anonymous and she will ensure that participants are not identifiable. The Mentoring Foundation will have access to anonymised data for the purpose of internal evaluation and review of our activities. Once the PhD research is complete, summaries of both studies will be made available on this website.

The Mentoring Foundation Accounts

The Mentoring Foundation accounts are available at Companies House.
  Click here to visit their web site

Consultation Submissions

The Mentoring Foundation’s submission to the Financial Reporting Council’s Consultation on the UK Corporate Governance Code (February 2018) can be seen below:
  Click here to download document

The Mentoring Foundation’s Research Paper 4, published in summer 2016, represents our contribution to the Women on Boards Review chaired by Sir Philip Hampton, with Dame Helen Alexander as his deputy. Sir Philip took over the Review in early 2016 and indicated that the next phase of the Hampton-Alexander Review will focus on building the pipeline for female executives and NEDs. The Foundation was given the opportunity to input into this conversation when Sir Philip attended our annual Colloquium at the Inner Temple on May 23, 2016.

Through the work of The Queen’s Gallery Group, a newly-formed network of HR and diversity leaders from many of the UK’s leading companies that represents one of The Mentoring Foundation’s key initiatives for 2016, we have been able to identify five key areas of focus in relation to the executive pipeline, and these are outlined in Research Paper 4 and have been shared with Sir Philip. The five themes set out in the Paper are:

The need to adapt talent frameworks to allow for women’s broad range of career trajectories;
The need to change the cultures at the top of our organisations so that Board roles are as attractive to young women as they are to young men;
How to engage more men in the conversation, and harness their efforts to achieve greater diversity;
How to fuel women’s ambition and ‘risk appetite’, to encourage them to pursue senior executive positions; and,
Whether numeric targets are the only way to bring about change and measure success in the context of the executive pipeline.

Our other consultation submissions in the past have included:

The Mentoring Foundation Contribution to Tomorrow’s Company publication – Tomorrow’s Global Leaders: How to build a culture that ensures women reach the top (March 2014)

The Mentoring Foundation Response to Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Inquiry into Women in the Workplace (October 2012)
  Click here to download document

The Mentoring Foundation Response to House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, Sub-Committee B – Call for Evidence in relation to EU Women on Boards proposal (July 2012)
  Click here to download document

The Mentoring Foundation Response to European Commission public consultation on gender imbalance in corporate boards in the European Union (May 2012)
  Click here to download document