The Boardroom: An introduction for emerging governance professionals

UK Student Forum Event

Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby St, London, EC1N 8TS


The UK Student Forum and the Association of Women Chartered Secretaries (AWCS) teamed up to host a professional development and networking event for governance professionals in the early stages of their careers. 

Members and students joined us to gain an insight into boardroom dynamics and behaviours and how to navigate them from our expert panel, who will be sharing their rich and diverse experience. The panel discussion was followed by an opportunity to meet fellow students and make new connections over drinks and canapes.



  • Pamela Coles, Chief Governance Officer, Rolls Royce plc

Pamela is an expert in corporate governance and company law.  She has been a Fellow of the ICSA since 1997. She has held a variety of company secretary roles throughout her career.  She joined Rolls-Royce from Centrica plc, where she was Head of Secretariat.  Pamela’s previous roles also include Group Company Secretary and a member of the executive committee at The Rank Group plc and Company Secretary & Head of Legal at RAC plc. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the GC100 and a Non-Executive director of E-ACT, a multi academy trust covering 29 schools in the more deprived areas in the UK.

  • Richard Sheath, Director, Independent Audit Limited

Richard has wide experience in governance effectiveness, built up over the past seventeen years since founding Independent Audit Limited.  In assessing board effectiveness, he has particular expertise in supporting audit committees in assessing risk management and internal control and assurance, along with the impact of behaviour and culture.  Clients have included BP, Rolls-Royce, Smith & Nephew, National Grid, Antofagasta, Fresnillo, QBE Europe, QinetiQ and Bank of New York Mellon (London).

Richard was previously Audit Committee Chairman of SUEK PLC, the largest coal producer in Russia and Audit Committee Chairman of Eurochem, a major global fertiliser company.

He is a leading thinker on board effectiveness and writes Independent Audit’s monthly bulletin “The Effective Board”.  He has published guidance on how boards can assess control culture and on subsidiary governance.

  • Dr Nneka Abulokwe, MicroMax Consulting

Dr Nneka Abulokwe is a board executive with over 25 years’ experience leading tech consulting for some of the largest multinational digital transformation and IT services providers. She is passionate about the intelligent use of technology and governance to foster organisational cohesion and drive positive digital cultures. Nneka is now an independent consultant providing board advisory services on digital, governance and operational excellence and serves on several boards as a Non-Executive Director.

She is the Chair of the Board Nominations Committee for the IT Governance Institute, ISACA; a Board member and Fellow of the Chartered Institute for IT, BCS and a Fellow of The Chartered Institute for Project Management, APM. Nneka undertook pioneering research in people-centric governance in tech and earned a Doctorate from Cranfield University School of Management. Nneka was recently featured in Forbes speaking on boardroom diversity; she is ranked #4 in the Financial Times 2018 top 100 ethnic minority tech executives; named as a Finalist for the ICSA Governance Professional of the year award 2018 and is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.


Location: Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby St, London, EC1N 8TS

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