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I was introduced to Charlotte by a trusted ex-colleague as I’m exploring joining a board as a non-executive director. I couldn’t have hoped for a better intro. Charlotte is not only the ex Chair of the IOD in the UK, she’s the internationally recognised corporate governance expert who’s a powerful advocate for ethnic and gender diversity on boards.
Refreshingly direct, in our LIFT Conversation on Camera Charlotte shares her experience and insight into why diversity matters now more than ever, the vital role of young people in business today, our responsibility in shaping the future and how being on the autism spectrum motivated her to set up the Institute of Neurodiversity.
A mother of three teenagers, she believes in “tapping into young people’s thinking to broaden ours”. She talks about how young people will be 50% of the world’s population in the next five years and her determination to support and to bring their thinking and ideas to the table.
“Their voice is the future… and we have to acknowledge that we don’t understand what the future needs.”
Charlotte is incredibly inspiring. She leads with “collaboration, honesty, transparency and trust” and is committed to raising the collective consciousness (my words) or “leadership maturity” (her words) of boards everywhere! I trust you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Charlotte has had an extensive portfolio career with a number of Non-Executive Directorships and Chair roles and experience with IPO’s, M&A’s and restructuring. Over the last decade, she’s been a director of 7 public companies, including three appointments as Chair. Charlotte also has diverse board experience with a range of unlisted companies.
In 2013, she realised there was a need to provide a pipeline of board-ready individuals and founded Board Apprentice Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation that provides individuals with hands-on experience at the very top of business.
Board Apprentice places appropriate individuals on boards for one year to gain first-hand experience of the workings and dynamics on boards. The organisation has been cited as a resource for bringing about real change in the U.K. Government’s recent reviews on ethnic and gender diversity in UK boardrooms.
Charlotte is a regular and sought after public speaker and conducts board reviews, delivers training and advises boards on corporate governance through her company, Global Governance Group, which she founded in 2009. She has over 35 years of experience in finance, primarily as an investment banker in her native Denmark and the UK.
Institute of Neurodiversity (ION)
In July last year, Charlotte revealed that she’s on the autism spectrum and is in the process of launching the Institute of Neurodiversity (ION). The purpose is to create a platform for organisations, governments and academia to share tools and best practices and to raise awareness and visibility around all things Neurodiversity, which needs its own place in society and business.
Connect with Charlotte on LinkedIn
📚. On another note, I mentioned a book, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, during our conversation. It’s well worth reading and available from all good bookstores everywhere.
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Until next time, feel free to get in touch and take good care of yourself.