Fidelio Update – Board Diversity and the International Imperative for "A Seat at the Table"

London, 29th July 2016 – Brexit, with its complex causality, is a disruptive force in business and the Boardroom. To meet this challenge Boards will diversify. Increasing anti-globalisation requires Boards to be good listeners and “connectors” at home and abroad. Fidelio’s A Seat at the Table“ Programme for senior female executives makes explicit connection between Board diversity and the new international imperative.

The third iteration of Fidelio’s acclaimed “A Seat at the Table” Programme is held on Tuesday 13th – 14th September 2016 at Leeds Castle, Kent. 

International Diversity at the Top Table
A Seat at the Table takes place at the historic Leeds Castle in a Boardroom that has hosted complex international negotiations leading to the Israeli-Egyptian Camp David Accords and the 2004 Northern Ireland peace talks. It’s a fitting backdrop for talented female executives and directors to hone leadership skills around the top table, be it the Board or Executive Committee. With a clear focus on Board effectiveness, the Programme combines the highest standards of governance with a distinctively international outlook.

The Global Footprint
Participants are senior female executives and non-executives representing leading UK corporates, as well as prominent global companies. These include companies within the FTSE 100, Eurostoxx 50 and S&P 500, as well as leading multilateral and government organisations. Participants and speakers bring experience from the US, the UK, continental Europe, Africa and Asia, and from a range of sectors.

The International Boardroom Challenge
Leading Boards must navigate a competitive, complex and, at times, volatile international landscape. A Seat at the Table does not shy from crisis and explores how Boards deal with dislocation and turmoil:

  • David Pearl, former Deputy Company Secretary, BP, sheds light on international Boards in global crisis
  • Anne de Kerckhove, technology investor and NED, embraces the sheer opportunity of fast-moving and disruptive technology across European and US Boardrooms
  • Chris Heimann, theatre director and Head of Improvisation, RADA, explores cultural and personal impact at the top table
  • Ann Francke, CEO, Chartered Management Institute, maps progression through the Executive Committee to the Boardroom in US and European multinationals
  • Christine Chow, Hermes Investment Management, grapples with Board effectiveness from the UK to China, and Europe to the US
  • General Sir Richard Shirreff, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO, spotlights the enormous geopolitical risk facing Boards– be it Brexit or Turkey, terrorism or populism, the Olympics or the Baltic States

Board Diversity – The Response
The challenge and complexity facing today’s Boards demands a diversified response. Across Europe, governments and regulators recognise the benefits of distinct and diverse perspectives around the Board table. The Davies Review in the UK and the Frauenquote in Germany represent contrasting routes to a common goal – greater gender diversity in the Boardroom and Executive layer. The UK’s second female Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been vocal on reforming corporate governance – speaking in praise of employee representation on Boards.

Elisabeth, Lady Stheeman, Supervisory Board Member, Aareal Bank, and Senior Advisor, PRA/Bank of England, has substantial experience of UK and German quoted Boards, and enables us to explore diversity of governance and gender around the Boardroom table. This in turn also allows an update and progress report on quotas and their impact on the Boardroom.

Fidelio’s A Seat at the Table programme for senior female executives and directors recognises the challenge facing today’s Boards and why diversity is a legitimate response. Next held on 13th – 14th September 2016 at Leeds Castle, Kent, UK, the A Seat at the Table Programme is clearly focussed on enhancing Board effectiveness and empowering senior female executives to succeed to the top table and at the top table. Business and politics seek leaders capable of dealing with the challenges ahead; and Fidelio contributes to the pipeline of female CEOs and Chairmen.

To learn more about Fidelio’s contribution to building effective Boards and in particular, A Seat at the Table, please contact Luke Main  or call +44 (0) 207 759 2200.

Notes to Editors:

The Programme –A Seat at the Table” is a unique two day programme around the Board table providing insight into complexity and Board effectiveness, as well as the route to the Boardroom. The goal is to increase female representation at the Top Table and develop tomorrow’s female CEOs and Chairmen.  Participants are Senior Female Executives and Directors with extensive leadership experience along with the ambition and potential to become highly effective Board Directors. To date we have welcomed women from leading FTSE 100 and international companies – including from the US and continental Europe.

Participants in A Seat at the Table” leave with practical tools to help them succeed, including:

  • a framework for understanding leadership structures and styles;
  • a mirror for personal presence including within a group dynamic; and
  • a road map of critical networks and milestones, in order to achieve their professional and personal objectives.
A Seat at the Table” – the feedback:
  • very rich in content, a great blend of technical aspects, softer skills and confidence building … An excellent Board readiness programme”  – CEO, Major Subsidiary, Global Financial Services Company
  • “practically narrowed the gap between my current position and the Board […] demystifying being on the Board” – Head of Leadership and Learning, Multinational Industrial Company
  • the best concentrated injection of development and learning that I have ever had … It hits the mark perfectly” – FTSE 100 Group HR Executive

Enrolment continues for a limited number of places for the Tuesday 13th – Wednesday 14thSeptember 2016 A Seat at the Table Programme; enrolment will start shortly for the A Seat at the Table Programme to be held on Tuesday 14th – Wednesday 15th March 2017.

The delegate enrolment fee is £7,500 plus VAT for this two day residential programme.

About Fidelio
Fidelio Partners is an international Board Development and Executive Search consultancy. We build and develop leadership teams that are well placed to handle complexity and change, and are strongly positioned to engage with shareholders and stakeholders.
Through Search and Development we build leadership teams that are effective in:

  • Sustaining corporate reputation and maintaining the licence to operate
  • Securing on-going access to capital
  • And thereby increasing the value of the business

Diversity is hardwired into every aspect of Fidelio’s approach to building and developing leadership teams. Fidelio is recognised for its fresh thinking and providing practical solutions for Chairmen and CEOs in meeting this vital challenge.Our highly qualified, in-house research capability is based in London and delivers Search and Development internationally.

Fidelio is committed to building diverse and highly effective Boards and Executive teams. For further information please visit our website: Fidelio Partners Board Development and Executive Search or contact

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