Women on Public Boards: Preparing for Equal Representation

This event will examine public bodies duties and responsibilities under the forthcoming legislation, and how all organisations can prepare women to take up more executive positions by equipping them with the tools for the boardroom across all sectors.

Women are underrepresented in decision making positions across Scotland

Having an effective board of directors is crucial to an organisation. It has a strong impact on how the organisation runs, makes decisions, and its success.

On the 30 January MSPs passed The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill, meaning that all public body boards must work towards having women make up 50% of non-executive members by 2022. In the run up to this, public authorities will now have a duty to encourage women to apply to public board positions.

Join Holyrood on 31 May as we examine the and responsibilities for public bodies under the forthcoming legislation, and how all organisations can prepare and support women to take up more executive positions by equipping them with the tools for the boardroom across all sectors. We will learn how to attract women to hold senior positions and encourage boards to adopt more inclusive cultures.

Key issues we will examine with you

  • Understanding how the legislation will affect public bodies going forward
  • Refining your organisation’s culture - is it inclusive, adaptive and does it create effective boundaries to encourage women to progress?
  • Preparing women for senior roles: equipping women with the tools and skills to communicate with confidence, creating a healthy work-life balance and setting action plans for advancement
  • The measurable benefits of having a diverse board for decision making, employee satisfaction and the economy
  • Examining how to retain women on your board by creating inclusive cultures
  • Sharing and learning from good practice examples

Confirmed Speakers

  • Bonnie Clarke, Director of Client Relationships, Re:markable

  • Tanya C Castell MBE, CEO, Changing the Chemistry 

  • George Eckton, Director, SEStran and Chairperson/Trustee, White Ribbon Scotland

Who should attend?

This event will be of benefit to organisations who will be affected by the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill, and public, private and third sector organisations whose senior management will ensure that women are supported and encourage to seek senior positions in the workplace, including:

  • Chief executives; directors; heads of service; board members
  • Senior and middle management with a strategic responsibility for improving performance and delivering organisational objectives from across public, private and third sectors
  • HR, Equalities and Recruitment Managers
  • Women looking to improve their confidence, communication and action plans to advance to senior positions


09:30    Registration and Refreshments

10:00    Welcome and Introduction from Chair

10:05    Session 1: Policy and Overview

  • Compliance with the legislation
  • The performance of inclusive board and measurable benefits

11:00    Questions and Discussion

11:20    Refreshments and Networking

11:40    Session 2: Equipping Women for the Boardroom

  • Improving your communication skills
  • Resilience and mental wellbeing in the workplace; how to manage challenging situations
  •  Importance of negotiation and self-promotion as tools for increasing your profile and achieving your potential

12:20    Questions and Discussion

12:50    Lunch and Networking

13:50    Session 3: Next Steps for your Organisation

  • Understanding how your organisational culture can be more inclusive and create effective boundaries
  • Supporting recruitment and retention of women in senior roles
  • Creating effective role models and mentoring opportunities
  • A good practice example of an organisation who has an inclusive culture

14:50    Questions and Discussion

15:20    Closing Remarks from Chair

15:30    Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


Central Edinburgh, venue to be confirmed in due course.


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):
Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)
For all event enquiries please email enquiries@holyrood.com or call 0131 285 1635
31 May 2018


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