Boards often claim that they would love to improve the diversity of those who sit around their tables, but they have tried and failed. Nurole and other diversity champions maintain that they are failing because they are not looking in the right places, a mantra echoed by Foluke Akinlose MBE, the founder of the PRECIOUS network.


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This is why Nurole has collaborated with PRECIOUS to raise awareness of the existence of the huge pool of brilliant, cognitively diverse, board-ready women of colour and to encourage those women to put themselves forward for board roles.

The Nurole/PRECIOUS partnership began in Autumn 2019, when Nurole was thrilled to be given the opportunity to sponsor the PRECIOUS Awards 2019 Inspiring Board Leader Award. It continued this month with a free evening event at Nurole’s London HQ, where PRECIOUS members were given the opportunity to grill three inspiring women of colour who sit on a varied range of boards.

Fielding a series of challenging questions were Aruna Mehta, vice chair of the Kemnal Academy Trust, NED of Clarion Housing Group and NED of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust; Monica Chadha, Advisory Board Chair of the British Independent Film Awards and Vice Chair of Council and Chair of Remuneration of Queen Mary University of London; and, Karen Forster who is on the board of the Creative Education Trust.

The audience of board-ready women learnt that being a NED is a challenge, the paperwork can not be avoided, it always takes up more time than the role specifies and that there are opportunities in all sectors across the commercial and not-for-profit spaces. The panel also explained that while technical skills and experience might get you through the first round, it’s character and emotional intelligence that ensure you stand out at the interview stage.

What really inspired attendees, however, was the opportunity that joining a board gives you to really use your passion – be that about education, tech, finance, etc – to really make a difference and become a powerful force for good.

Now is an opportune time for woman of colour looking to take on board roles, as boards have now woken up to the value that greater diversity brings to a board and are under huge pressure to better reflect their stakeholders.



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