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GDP: Nominations Committee - Skills and Diversity on the Board

GDP: Effective Governance, Nominations and Board Diversity

This event will be of benefit to both new and experienced members of Boards and Board Committees, and offers insights to governors, diversity leaders and governance staff.


This event is designed for both committee members and the staff who support them, recognizing their significant contributions to creating a more inclusive and effective governance framework.

At this event, we will delve into the fundamental principle that governance can only be truly effective when it adopts an inclusive approach. Together, we will explore how the Nominations Committee, along with individual members, can take a leading role in driving inclusivity across various aspects of governance. This includes overseeing board diversity and recruitment processes, strategically planning for successions, and promoting effective assurance of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) as well as a positive organizational culture within their institutions.

Drawing upon the extensive expertise of Advance HE, we will share insights, best practices, and examples of successful change from a diverse range of speakers and higher education providers. Throughout the event, there will be ample opportunities for attendees to actively participate, share their own experiences, and engage in meaningful discussions.

This standalone one-day event offers a unique platform to learn from the sector-wide initiatives conducted by Advance HE, including the HE Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit and the Diversity of Governors Report. By attending, you will gain valuable knowledge, practical tools, and fresh perspectives to drive positive change in governance practices within your institution.

GDP: Effective Governance, Nominations and Board Diversity

13 December 2023

Location: Virtual


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Who is this event for?

This event will be of benefit to both new and experienced members of Boards and Board Committees, and offers insights to governors, university leaders and governance staff. 




09:30am   Welcome & Introductions - Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

09:50am   Advance HE Board Diversity Toolkit - Colette Fletcher, Head of Consulting and Governance, Advance HE

10:30am   The Facts and Figures on UK HE Boards - Amanda Aldercotte, Head of Knowledge and Research, Advance HE

10:45am   Break

11:00am   Improving Board Diversity - Learning Lessons From Beyond HE - Penny Wilson, CEO, Getting on Board

11:30am   Panel - Skills and Diversity is the Dial Moving Quickly Enough on HE Boards? - Malcolm John, Founder, Action for Trustee Racial Diversity & Tessa Hamilton, Partner (Education), GatenbySanderson

12:15pm   Discussion Groups - What is Your University Approach to Improving Skills and Diversity on the Board?

12:50pm   Wrap Up

13:00pm   Close



Speakers and presenter for the event are being approached and will include associates involved with Advance HE’s work across diversity and inclusion, professionals with expertise in board practice and HE Governors and governance services staff. 

Aaron Porter

Associate Director (Governance)
Advance HE
Aaron leads on Advance HE governance activity through the delivery of our national Governor Development Programme which engages with around 900 governors across the UK on an annual basis. He has extensive experience leading reviews of over 25 governing boards. Aaron was previously President of the National Union of Students (NUS) and also chair of trustees for the organisation.

Penny Wilson

CEO, Getting on Board
Penny Wilson
Penny has helped numerous charities to develop their boards and is a leading advocate in making trusteeship more accessible.

Penny has always worked or volunteered in the charity sector. She started her career at the Association of Charity Shops (now the Charity Retail Association) and Barnet Voluntary Service Council, where she gained an understanding of and a passion for the unsung impact of smaller charities.

Malcolm John

Founder, Action for Trustee Racial Diversity
Malcolm John
Malcolm has over twenty years’ experience as a trustee in a wide range of charitable organisations working on a diverse range of social justice issues.

He is the Founder of the UK wide campaign, Action for Trustee Racial Diversity, aimed at addressing the significant under-representation of individuals from Black and Asian backgrounds on trustee Boards. He is lso currently a trustee of the Association of Chairs, the membership body for chairs of charities across the UK, the British American Drama Academy and the Charles Dickens Museum.

Dr Colette Fletcher

Head of Governance & Consulting
Advance HE
Dr Colette Fletcher
Colette joined Advance HE in May 2023. As the Head of Governance & Consulting, she is now responsible for leading Advance HE’s existing governance advisory portfolio and developing the wider consultancy business. She is passionate about advising and supporting senior leaders in UK HE on governance and other critical issues and supporting the boards of higher education providers to be as effective as possible.

Amanda Aldercotte

Head of Knowledge and Research
Advance HE
Amanda Aldercotte
Amanda has led Advance HE’s research team since November 2017 and over the course of the last three years has helped establish the team’s unique position as qualified researchers working within the realms of higher education and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Tessa Harrison

HE Partner at GatenbySanderson
Tessa Harrison
Tessa joined the Education Practice at GatenbySanderson as HE Partner in February 2020. Since joining GatenbySanderson, Tessa has led the campaigns to recruit Vice Chancellors at the University of Northampton, the Gloucestershire and currently, Bournemouth University. Other campaigns she has led have been at senior academic and professional services leadership level as well as non-executive Chair, Treasurer and governing body membership roles. She works with GS’ Board Practice on HE board effectiveness reviews and coaches a number of senior level leaders through their transition and onboarding to new roles.



This event will be delivered virtually through Zoom, with joining instructions sent out by the governance team two weeks before the day of the event.

Along with the joining instructions and links delegates will receive a copy of the programme, with finalised timings, topics, and speakers.

The event will be delivered as as a series of presentations, discussions and panels, with time after each for questions and comments.

For any enquiries regarding the event please contact the Programmes and Events Team at:



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