Broadening Board Diversity with OnBoard

We are proud to be part of OnBoard, an exciting new not for profit mentoring programme designed to support talented individuals from disadvantaged and non-traditional backgrounds.

Research shows that Boards benefit from having a variety of voices, backgrounds and experiences represented around the Board table, but change has been slow; in 2020 over 90% of FTSE100 board members were found to be white* and this pattern is replicated throughout organisations of different governance structures and of all sizes.               

Several barriers can inhibit Board diversity including entrenched ideas; access to networks; recruitment practices; and, in some cases a lack of confidence and awareness on the part of non-traditional candidates to get involved. OnBoard’s mission is to skill up and enable talented and capable people who are currently less likely to take on Board roles, working with individuals who come from communities impacted by social and economic inequality, and disadvantaged backgrounds.              

Participants will be supported through a series of workshops and given access to a network of mentors and coaches. Each participant will be matched with two mentors, a current board member with at least 3 years’ experience from a diverse pool of backgrounds, and an expert recruiter who has experience of recruiting to board and other governance positions.              

Mel Shearer, Partner in our Health Practice commented: 

Building truly diverse leadership and establishing inclusive cultures is part of GatenbySanderson’s DNA so we are thrilled to support this initiative. We know from the many talent pipeline programmes we have developed that organisations who think more creatively about how they find and develop talent and work to break down barriers will succeed faster. Building confidence and providing end to end support through an often complex recruitment process ensures candidates from non-traditional backgrounds perform well and maintain their assurance in the process.          

As part of our commitment to support diverse talent, six GatenbySanderson leadership consultants will act as mentors on the programme, providing personal advice and guidance on the recruitment process, CV writing, interviews and building candidate confidence in applying for Board roles.            

If you’d like to know more about OnBoard, or how we support D&I talent through other programmes and initiatives, please contact Ainslie Wilson-shearer, our Inclusion & Diversity Manager, at                   

*The DiversityQ FTSE 100 Board Diversity Report 2020. 

Share this article

Related Articles