Useful links


King’s College PhD Research
Getting on Board: Comparing Men and Women’s Experience of the Board Appointment Process

Sapphire Partners collaborated and part-sponsored a PhD project conducted at the Department of Management at King’s College London.  Getting on Board was a research project conducted by Scarlett Brown, a PhD student at the Department of Management, King's College London and supervised by Dr Elisabeth Kelan.

The project was a multi-year initiative and sought to provide the first academic in-depth investigation into the similarities and differences in the ways that men and women are appointed as non-executive directors to PLC boards.  The researcher conducted interviews with a group of high potential board candidates three times over an 18-month period.  This followed candidates through their searches and appointment processes; examining their search mechanisms, their critical relationships and networks, and how their perception of the ‘ideal board member’ was constructed and lived out.  By understanding their individual experiences and how they made sense of the process, this research contributed to the growing literature on the professionalisation of the board appointment process and women on boards, with a unique angle and method of analysis.

Sapphire Partners played a key consultancy role in this research, by using their practical knowledge and insight on board appointments to assist the researcher in making sense of the findings.  We also helped and advised the researcher in gaining access to relevant participants.

Please contact or click HERE to download the report.
Women are under-represented on the boards of our public bodies, which include NHS trusts, national museums, galleries and advisory bodies.  If  you would like to help make important decisions that shape the quality of our lives and public services, why not consider applying for a public appointment.
The 30% Club is a group of Chairmen and organisations committed to bringing more women onto UK corporate boards.  Its members have declared their voluntary support for the 30% goal and are taking action to achieve it – this is NOT a call for quota. The Club wants to achieve a better gender balance at all management levels in a way that encourages real, sustainable and faster change.  The 30% Club complements the many other efforts underway in this area and, as a neutral, non-commercial body, can help to coordinate these and deliver actions beyond words.
Since 1999, Cranfield’s annual Female FTSE benchmarking report has provided a regular measure of the number of women executive directors on the corporate boards of the UK's top 100 companies.  The Female FTSE Index is announced each year in November, and attracts considerable press attention in the UK and internationally. Reports are available from 2001 onwards.  Cranfield’s 100 Women to Watch list is also available at this link.
The FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme is helping companies develop their senior women. 53 companies have placed Mentees in the Programme, enabling them to be mentored by the Chairmen and CEOs of some of the UK’s most iconic companies.  The mentoring provided by these Chairmen and CEOs is enabling talented women to become credible candidates for executive and non-executive directorships.


Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We mujst believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained - Marie Curie, chemist and physicist