It’s vital that women from all walks of life are visible and influential across all sectors of the economy, society and public life. Boards with a gender balance simply work better, so I’d urge women with a passion for leading change to get their voices heard by taking on non-exec roles.

Lucy Reynolds
CEO, Chwarae Teg

There is a drastic need for more women in leadership positions. Having diverse voices in the room means that different issues and different perspectives are more likely to be discussed.

Chwarae Teg and partners are providing an exciting opportunity aimed at encouraging more women of all ages and backgrounds into Non-Executive Director roles.

Providing a programme of one to one mentoring, shadowing opportunities and skills training that will take place over 12 months.  We will give women practical experience and training on governance and the role of a Non-Executive Director.

The Non-Executive Director Shadowing opportunities and training will take place with organisations such as Building Communities Trust, Sport Wales, Torfaen Leisure Trust, Football Association of Wales, Citizens Advice, Cyfannol Womens Aid and Tenovus Cancer Care.

What the programme will offer…

  • Mentoring by a Non-Executive Director from one of our partnering organisations
  • Mentoring/Shadowing by Senior Executives
  • The opportunity to attend and participate in Board Meetings
  • Make available to you the training offered to Non-Executive Directors
  • Introductory training run by Chwarae Teg on Finance and Good Governance made available to you
  • Paid expenses
  • Provide you with a certificate at the end of the scheme summarising your learning achievements

Who we are looking for…

We are looking for all women of any age, who are willing to commit to attending approximately 1 Board meeting per month for 12 months, plus any additional committee meetings you may wish to join, and attend strategic planning events and relevant training opportunities which are made available to you.

Person Specification
  • You are interested in learning about becoming a Non-Executive Director
  • You have a drive to make a real difference to people’s lives
  • You believe in fairness and equality
  • You are passionate for new challenges
  • You have a positive focus

Contact us today to find out more on how you can be involved either as a participant or a shadowing partner –

I would highly recommend the STNE programme to anyone interested in securing a Non-Exec role. The whole experience has been so insightful and welcoming. It is a great way to understand the workings of an organisation from a strategic perspective. You are provided with mentors who are keen to support your development and answer any questions that you may have. The whole experience has been thoroughly enjoyable! I have been truly inspired by the Chwarae Teg board members, they are so passionate about the cause and committed to contributing toward a fairer and more equitable Wales. I am genuinely sad that my time on S2NE is coming to an end. Thank you Chwarae Teg for the wonderful opportunity and for coaching and guiding me towards my next Non-Executive Director position.

Hibah Rehman
Step to Non Exec Participant

What is a Non-Executive Director

An active leadership and governance role, setting the strategic direction of the business to support the overall purpose. Doing so in a way which is consistent with our values and ensures that risk is managed and our obligations to customers, regulators and stakeholders are understood and met.

Key Responsibilities

  • To define the vision, values, mission and strategic objectives of the organisation and ensure these are upheld
  • To ensure clear accountabilities and communications within the organisation
  • To promote the Group internally and externally establishing relationships with current and potential customers, partners and stakeholders
  • To monitor, safeguard and enhance the Groups reputation
  • To establish and maintain a positive customer and community focussed culture
  • To agree the strategic objectives and desired outcomes
  • To establish a framework for approving and reviewing strategies, policies and plans to achieve business objectives and effective governance
  • To develop an understanding of the external context in which we operate
  • To approve an annual business plan, budgets and funding strategy that support the achievement of the corporate strategy, corporate plan and business plan
  • To oversee a framework for the identification, management and review of risk
  • To take or ratify decisions on matters that might create significant risk to the organisation or that raise issues of principle
  • To ensure that a positive culture of risk management is embedded throughout the organisation
  • To regularly review and monitor performance in relation to plans, budgets and service delivery
  • To drive an agenda for continuous improvement in our service delivery
  • To set high governance standards, contributing to the review of the Boards performance
  • To obtain and consider customer and stakeholder feedback

The role of the Board

The main role of the Board is to direct the affairs of the Company in accordance with its objects, i.e. to determine strategic direction and policies. Management, i.e. the implementation of the Board’s policies, is delegated to paid staff.


The essential functions of the Board are formally recorded in the Company’s Rules and its standing orders. The Board’s main functions include duties to:

  • Define and ensure compliance with the values and objectives of the Company;
  • Establish policies and plans to achieve those objectives;
  • Approve each year’s budget and accounts prior to publication;
  • Establish and monitor a framework of delegation and systems of control;
  • Agree policies and make decisions on all matters that might create significant financial or other risk to the Company, or which raise material issues of principle;
  • Monitor the Company’s performance in relation to these plans, budgets controls and decisions;
  • Satisfy itself that the Company’s affairs are conducted lawfully and in accordance with generally accepted standards of performance, conduct and propriety; and
  • Take proper advice;
  • To monitor the operation of the Company’s equal opportunities.

Participating Organisations

Chwarae Teg is working with partners to provide a unique opportunity for women to undertake a 12 month programme to learn about governance and the role of Non-Executive Directors.

The programme will enable you to gain practical experience and provide you with the skills and confidence to apply for future positions in public life.

You will have the opportunity to shadow ONE of the below organisations during the duration of the programme.

Building Communities Trust – BCT runs the Invest Local programme, Wales’ largest asset-based community development programme working in 13 diverse communities. It also works on policy, advocacy and campaigns with the community sector across Wales.

Sport Wales – the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales. We want to see a healthier and more active nation.  We want every young person to have a great start in life so that they can go on to enjoy a lifetime of Sport.

Oxfam Cymrua charity working to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people, at home and abroad.  Oxfam Cymru put women at the heart of all they do to help the injustice of poverty for everyone, for good. Working with allies and partners locally and globally to achieve this.

Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales a vibrant network of organisations and individuals who are committed to making Wales a safer and fairer place for women and girls.

TAI Pawba membership organisation with an expert team of dedicated and value driven staff and board members.  Tai Pawb works to advance equality and social justice in housing in Wales.

Football Association of Wales the governing body of football in Wales which is responsible for promoting and developing the game at all levels from grass roots through to the professional game, including the Welsh Premier League and all International Teams. 

Hockey Wales the National Governing Body for hockey in Wales, striving to deliver all aspects of hockey in diverse locations from schools and clubs to colleges and universities.

WCVA – as the national membership body for voluntary organisations in Wales, WCVA exists to enable voluntary organisations to make a bigger difference together.

ClwydAlyn – an organisation working to beat poverty. Operating in North Wales helping individuals access quality housing, working with partners to address the causes and impacts of poverty.

Cynnal Cymru – an organisation proving advice, training, and connections to turn sustainability aims into action. Supporting organisations to take bold decisions for a fairer and more secure future.

Cwmpas – is the UK’s largest co-operative development agency. Bringing funders and partners together to make our communities more confident, ambitious, and more co-operative.

Skills & Volunteering Cymru (SVC) – a volunteering charity based in Cardiff. Volunteers run a variety of projects across South Wales combating loneliness and isolation for many different beneficiary groups

Is this opportunity available for all age ranges?

Yes, we recognize that women of all ages can benefit from this programme.

How much time will I need to commit?

You will be required to attend a maximum of 1 Board meeting per month and factor in time to read any papers ahead of meetings. You will also be required to meet with your mentor, at a time suitable to you and as frequently as you need. This is usually 1 meeting per month.

Should I apply for a position with an organisation outside of my sector or area of expertise?

Yes, this is great for development and will further your knowledge and experience of other sectors that interest you.

Will I need to travel to Board meetings?

We anticipate as we move out of COVID restrictions that participants can expect a hybrid approach to attending meetings, either in person or virtually. This will vary across the organisations taking part. Please let us know in your application form if you have any additional needs in attending in person meetings.

What is the duration of the programme?

The programme will run for 12 months from the date that you start the programme, this will vary across organisations.

What is the recruitment process for the programme?

Applicants will need to complete a short online application form a link to which will be sent out by email, we will then forward these to your selected shadowing partner to shortlist and select candidates to interview. If offered a place on the programme, you will be notified of your start date shortly after.

Please note due to a large number of applications each year you may only select one shadowing partner.


What happens if I am unsuccessful?

Not to worry we keep your application on file and notify you should any other opportunities arise for this year. Step to Non Exec runs annually and we will keep you updated on when new programmes run.

Are there any costs involved?

The programme is free to all who apply. The organisation you will shadow will pay your expenses.

What equipment will I need?

You will need access to a laptop or computer and Wifi to attend the board meetings virtually and access emails and resources.

Do I need the right to work to apply?

You do not need the right to work to apply for this programme.

What about intersexuality and diversity?

We understand the need for diversity on boards and encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to apply.

Do I need to be currently employed to apply?

No, you do not need to be in current employment to apply to the programme. The programme can be done alongside employment or separately.

Would I need permission from work to enroll on the programme?

You do not need permission from your employer, however depending on your work pattern, you may want to speak to your employer about this (most often employers support this as it is a career developmental opportunity). Most board meetings take place during the evenings, so unless of course you work in the evening you may want to check in with your employer about this. Training sessions will usually take place in the daytime but we will give you advance notice of this.

We believe employers will also be benefitting from employees joining Boards as they can help with professional development in many ways, leadership skills strategy thinking and decision making, together with being able to grow your professional networks with the other Board members who sit alongside you at meetings.

Who will I be shadowing if I am successful?

This year we have revised the application process and rather than applying to shadow one particular organisation we have asked you to identify which sectors or fields of work you are interested in shadowing. We will then match you to a partnering organisation for them to shortlist your application. This will make it easier for participants to be considered for more than one organisation, increasing your chances of achieving a place on the programme. We will keep you updated on the progress of your application and who you have been shortlisted to shadow to ensure the match is the right fit all round.