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The Women on Boards bursary programme

Category: Recruitment, Changing Recruitment, recruitment process, GatenbySanderson, bursary, Women on boards

Gender Focus

The Women on Boards bursary programme - supporting more women into the boardroom.


We want to make sure the only barrier to the boardroom is talent. Our bursary programme opens our boardroom journey to women with the skills and determination to contribute as a non-executive.

Our inaugural 2019 bursary programme received a tremendous response. Competition was extremely high, with over 120 applications for just 4 places. We were impressed – but not surprised - by the level of expertise, experience and ambition overall.
We are grateful to leading headhunters GatenbySanderson for sharing their analysis on the strengths of our shortlisted candidates which informed our final decision.
Our four bursaries are awarded to Corinne Kennedy, Faiza Waheed, Marianna Sikorowska and Tania Wallis. Congratulations all! 

 Corinne Kennedy

Corinne has extensive experience in the extractives sector, specialising in sustainable development and corporate responsibility.

She has worked on projects in in more than 20 countries, in both developed and emerging economies. She has worked in a FTSE10 headquarters developing corporate policy and in the field supporting delivery of multi-billion pound projects.

Corinne has strong stakeholder management experience, within large organisations and externally with communities impacted by projects, with NGOs, financial organisations and local and national governments. She has sat on, and worked with, supervisory boards and developed management and compliance systems for complex projects with large budgets.

Corinne is now developing a portfolio and consultancy career after an extended period of maternity leave.

Find out more about Corinne on LinkedIn.

Faiza Waheed  

Faiza is a chartered certified accountant with significant experience in the NHS. Most recently she was Deputy Chief Finance Officer at a clinical commissioning group (CCG) in south London and has worked with stakeholders across the public sector.

She has contributed to finance and audit committees, giving her an insight into the role of non-executives in financial risk and management. She has also demonstrated a strength in sharing her knowledge with others, taking the lead in upskilling non-finance professionals and mentoring post-graduate students.

Faiza took a planned career break a couple of years ago and is now looking to make use of her skills to add value to an organisation she is passionate about.

Marianna Sikorowska 

As a governance professional in the sports sector, Marianna has an excellent understanding of how to build good governance and of the challenges sports organisations face in doing so. Before joining the grants team at the London Marathon Charitable Trust, she worked as Governance Officer at the Sport and Recreation Alliance where she supported National Governing Bodies and other organisations on a wide variety of governance issues.

Marianna is now keen to make the leap from advising boards to getting a board role herself. She worked in public affairs before following her passion into to the sports sector. Her leadership potential has also been recognised and developed through the Olympic Committee’s New Leaders in Sport programme.

Marianna is highly driven and committed to improving governance in the sporting world and she is a passionate advocate of gender equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Find out more about Marianna on LinkedIn.

Tania Wallis 

A mature PhD student in cyber security for the energy industry, Tania has in-depth knowledge that is much in demand in the boardroom. Alongside her research, she has led the development of a network of trust which supports utility companies securing their infrastructure. This has deployed her high-level interpersonal skills with her appreciation for the bigger picture.

Her previous career in operations for telecommunications firms built her leadership and management skills. She also gained international experience and ability to adapt to different cultures and situations. More recent work, prior to her PhD, focused on education and well-being which contributes to her supportive and empathetic approach to guiding people and organisations.

Having completed her PhD, Tania is keen to utilise her skills and knowledge in the boardroom.

Find out more about Tania on LinkedIn.

More about our Bursary programme: 

Women on Boards wants to make sure the only barrier to the boardroom is talent - and we we are putting our money where our mouth is with our Bursary programme. It is designed for women with high board potential who may not otherwise be able to afford our support.  

Our bursaries offer free access to our Boardroom journey:

The bursaries are open to any woman who is not on a board or committee – but would like to be. Bursary applicants should have an income of under £30,000 or have been out of work for over 12 months. 

Applications are now closed for 2019. We will open the programme for the next cohort in early 2020.  Please check back then. 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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