Colleges in the south-east and the midlands have been hosting workshops aimed at women from FE and business, in a bid to increase female representation on boards.

The four workshops – run by the Women’s Leadership Network and funded by the Education and Training Foundation – attracted around 70 delegates to sessions at West London College and Fircroft College in Birmingham.

Pauline Odulinski, WLN’s managing director, told delegates that “equality and diversity are stalling because people are tired of the conversation”, and the focus on policies and targets is making matters “dry”.

Sessions encompassed the roles of governors and non-executive directors, tips for efficient board meetings, what skills are required and how to take the steps to join a board.

Part of the workshop focused on the lack of women in audit and finance committees, and how board members don’t necessarily need a background in finance or accounting to actively contribute.

“Delegates left the workshops with a clear understanding of how their current skills and experience could bring value to a board,” said Ms Odulinski.

“Several delegates asked to be matched straight away with colleges seeking board members, and 97 per cent said they are now interested in joining the board of an organisation.”

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