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Next Steps to Gender, Power & Influence in the Boardroom

The importance of Diversity and Inclusion is recognised. Fidelio’s focus is the Board and we support companies in embedding diversity in the Boardroom and the leadership team. We were therefore delighted recently to collaborate with the Global Institute for Women's Leadership in hosting a virtual Roundtable: ‘Gender, Power and Influence in the Boardroom’. Our key speakers were Hon. Julia Gillard, Chair of GIWL and the Wellcome Trust and former Prime Minister of Australia; Denise Wilson, Chief Executive of FTSE Women Leaders; and Fiona Cannon, Director of Sustainable Business at Lloyds Banking Group; moderated by Gillian Karran-Cumberlege, Head of Chair Advisory at Fidelio. We were joined by a distinguished group of highly engaged Chairs and Boards Members from a range of sectors and geographies. One participant called from COP 27 alluding to the lack of gender balance among the political leadership at this vital international summit. Fidelio’s Roundtable had a practical focus on what works and at the end of a lively debate, we asked each of our panellists to identify one thing to move the dial on gender balance. With perspicacity they prioritised as follows:

  • Julia Gillard – data and evidence. Diversity and inclusion initiatives are more likely to be adopted and critically bear much greater chance of success if they are founded upon firm data and good research. Clearly the Global Institute for Women's Leadership makes an important contribution here.

  • Denise Wilson – leadership. There is much evidence that diversity at leadership level is likely to lead to further diverse appointments, in particular with regard to female Chairs and female CEOs. Very evidently the Chair has a critical role to play in promoting diversity throughout the organisation.

  • Fiona Cannon – targets. Business understands the language of targets and the discipline of milestones. In order to make progress on DE&I, clear objectives and progress that can be tracked significantly enhance the prospects of success.

For the key findings from the Gender, Power and Influence in the Boardroom discussion, please click here.


The commitment to driving change at the Roundtable was palpable. This is a commitment that Fidelio shares:

  • Search: In the previous three years, 52% of Candidates placed by Fidelio have been female and 30% have been from minority ethnic groups

  • Evaluation: In every Board Evaluation we explore DE&I and cognitive diversity and provide practical recommendations for the Board

  • Development: Our development practice also embraces DE&I, for example conducting global workshops for leading privately held companies

For further information on how Fidelio can support your Board with regard to DE&I, contact


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Gillian - Karran Cumberlege

Head of

Board Advisory

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