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Learning the language of the boardroom


As part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to increase effectiveness through diversity on boards, Deloitte has developed a programme designed to familiarise women in the skills and language needed and used at boardroom level.  

Deloitte created the programme to help women navigate their way successfully onto a board, following client feedback and research that suggested women cannot always find a route to the top of a FTSE company, and felt they needed to learn the language of the boardroom to succeed.  

According to the latest data from Deloitte’s Board Structure and Non-executive Directors’ Fees report, it will take 20 years before women represent 30% of the boards of FTSE 350 companies, and women currently only hold 16% of non-executive director roles across FTSE 350 companies. Deloitte is offering the programme to assist women onto a board so these predicted slow rates of growth do not become a reality.

Carol Arrowsmith, a vice chairman of Deloitte and senior partner in the Compensation and Benefits practice, comments: "Deloitte started the ‘Navigating the Boardroom: Women on Boards’ programmes as part of its ongoing commitment to increasing diversity on boards, and to encourage women who are able to succeed at boardroom level to have the confidence to take on a boardroom role.

"Without doubt, there should be more women across boards in all UK companies. There is a wealth of research which demonstrates companies with women in senior positions perform better and by offering this programme we hope to see this figure increase.”

The programme is designed to guide women on how the boardroom works, what it will look like, and the skill set they will need to use. It also provides opportunities for the women to network with their peer group and senior board members from UK listed companies.

The women on boards programme takes place across six months and is hosted by people who are already operating in the boardroom, and have first-hand experience of the behaviours and requirements needed to join a board as a non-executive director. The first programme saw the women joined by FTSE 350 Chairman, other influential board members and external stakeholders from across the City.

The women, who are nominated to attend the course, will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Boardroom dynamics;
  • The challenges facing women in their move to a board position;
  • The UK Governance framework;
  • Working with external stakeholders such as members of the investor community;
  • Developing personal brand and impact; and
  • Getting onto a shortlist for director appointments.
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