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20 February 2024

Guest blog: New trainees and mentors needed for third edition of Pathway to Board

Guest blog: New trainees and mentors needed for third edition of Pathway to Board

People from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and mentors who want to support greater diversity throughout Wales’s social housing sector and beyond, are being called to apply for the third annual Pathway to Board programme.

Image of Pathway to Board delegates.
Julie James MS with the Pathway to Board cohort at CHC's conference.

Here, Afshan Iqbal, project manager for Pathway to Board, explains why the programme is so beneficial and makes such a difference across organisations and communities across Wales.

We are delighted to be launching our latest Pathway to Board programme and we are calling on up to 20 new trainees to join us this year.

Through Pathway to Board we aim to promote diversity in boardrooms and at leadership level across Wales by giving trainees the skills and knowledge they would need to participate at the top level of any organisation.

During the programme, our trainees undertake modules delivered by industry experts, and they also receive specialist mentoring from leaders of organisations to prepare them for the next steps in their career.

After graduation, participants are then encouraged to use their new skills and apply for a leadership or board position, with an emphasis on pursuing roles in the social housing sector.

Thanks to our innovative approach, seven people from our first intake were recruited to board positions, while six were appointed the second year.

We are now looking for our next intake of applicants with all backgrounds considered, but we are particularly interested in hearing from people with underrepresented skills, including those with lived experiences from diverse communities, and also those from a finance, governance, and legal background.

By joining our programme participants can help to make an impact in leadership across the Welsh social housing sector and beyond.

We believe that having greater representation of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds at the highest level of a business filters down through how it operates, and introduces lived experiences that are beneficial to everyone.

We give participants the confidence to apply for these board positions, which they may not have had the skills to do before, despite having the right lived experience and values.

We are also looking to recruit new mentors to work with the latest intake of participants. These applicants need to have board experience, or currently sit on a board, and need to nominate themselves to take part in the programme.

New mentors will be added to our pool of existing experts who guide the participants during the nine months. They will offer advice and valuable insight to the trainees and prepare them for what they can expect from working on the board of an organisation.

Mentors need to attend a minimum of one meeting a month as part of the programme. We welcome applicants from the social housing sector, but mentors from all sectors can apply to take part.

Our participants learn so much from our mentors, and mentors also get the chance to learn from participants who then go on to board positions and feedback what they are learning and experiencing first hand. It’s a very rewarding role.

To apply to take part in the Pathway to Board programme or to become a mentor, please contact Afshan Iqbal on afshan.iqbal@ccha.org.uk

Mentor recruitment is ongoing and applicants can apply at any time. The next Pathway to Board programme will begin in April.