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Supporting female talent at the top

I found out about the "Women on Boards" initiative through National Grid’s Chairman. He was contacted by Vince Cable, the then Secretary of State at the Department of Business and Innovation, to see if he knew of any senior executive women who might benefit from the programme.

Working on NDA's Board

Alison Kay, National Grid
Alison Kay, National Grid

Working with the NDA appealed to me because it is part of the nuclear sector; I’ve been in the energy industry for many years and it’s something I’m passionate about so the NDA seemed like a great fit. I was intrigued by the long term nature of the assets within the NDA’s portfolio and interested to learn how Boards made decisions which would only come to fruition many years hence – and leave a lasting legacy for decades.

What delighted me about working on NDA's Board was its efficiency and the great professionalism with which the Board undertakes its role. It has a genuine desire to perform its role in a “best in class” manner; the knowledge of the Board members is impressive. I was also pleased to see that visiting sites and assets was an integral part of the Board’s agenda.

I really valued seeing how another Board operates (I’m Secretary to the National Grid Board). It provided me with a great insight into how the roles of Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) and Executives differ – and how they rely on each other to reach the right decisions. It’s also provided me with an extended network of contacts.

“Women on Boards” network

I'd recommend any senior women interested in gaining a Non-Executive Director (NED) Board role, consider joining the Women on Boards programme. It’s a wonderful ‘stepping stone’ for anyone seeking their first NED opportunity. It’s hard, in my experience, to secure that first role – I am hopeful that this will be a bridge to doing just that. And, whatever happens, I’ve learned a huge amount and broadened my skillset – and that counts for a lot!


For women (and men) seeking to progress their careers, find out more about joining Women on Boards


For organisations who would like to consider developing female talent in senior roles, view options to subscribe to Women on Boards

Women in Nuclear

For women progressing their careers in the nuclear sector, find out more about support available via Nuclear Institute’s Women in Nuclear group

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