Tanya Castell MBE, founder of Changing the Chemistry, recognised by Women of the Year

Tanya Castell MBE, CEO and founder of Changing the Chemistry, will join over 400 women from all walks of life at this year’s Women of the Year Lunch as a ‘2017 Woman of Achievement’. Each guest is regarded as a ‘Woman of the Year’ and represents not only herself, but the millions of women who make a difference every day.

Tanya said, “I am truly honoured to have been invited to the Women of the Year lunch in recognition of the success of Changing the Chemistry.  There have been some serious failings in the boardroom in the past and by increasing the diversity of thought, the evidence shows that decision-making should improve.”

For more details, please see the press release here: WoY 2017 Press Release Castell final

PWC suggested reading for NEDs on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Following a PWC hosted NED briefing in London on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, PWC shared the below suggested reading which CtC members may be interested in.  Thank you to PWC.

Podcasts / TedTalks

PwC briefings and articles

An open mind will be the biggest asset in the near future, as the technology advances and we continue to experiment with how to use AI to solve problems—in our personal lives, professional lives, and society at large. Those who think practically and critically will ride the waves of these advancements instead of being left behind.

This was referenced in our lunchtime briefing and can also be found on the interactive site on the AI Impact Index. We’ve been working with our partners Fraunhofer, a global leader in emerging technology research and development and Forbes, to identify the most compelling examples of potential AI applications across each sector’s value chain. We then designed a framework to assess the degree and pace of impact of each. In total, we identified and rated nearly 300 use cases, which are captured in our AI Impact Index.

Further reading

Thought-provoking fun

  • How to stop a robot from turning evil –an original mini drama published by the Guardian, is obviously a work of fiction. But the fears behind it are very real, and have led some of the biggest brains in artificial intelligence (AI) to reconsider how they work.


Podcast: CtC CEO Tanya Castell with iMultiply

iMultiply, a market leading recruitment business, launched its new podcast series with our CEO Tanya Castell. One in a series of conversations with influential business professionals, in this episode, founder & managing director Kirsty Mackenzie discussed the importance of diversity on the board with Tanya.

Listen here: link


Trustee appointment news 

Changing the Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of four new trustees to its board. Yvonne Greeves, Ian Roberts, David Robinson and Martha Walsh were appointed at CtC’s June AGM, replacing retiring trustees Julie-Anne Jamieson, Janet Unsworth and Miki Fairfax; and Jenny Campbell, who retired in November 2016.

New trustees 2017 announcement


Business Insider – “Women in Business” special edition 

June’s edition of Business Insider focused on gender diversity, and featured CEO Tanya Castell answering this month’s burning question, “Are businesses doing enough to increase the diversity of their workforce?”:

“A commitment to diversity comes from the top so until boards are genuinely diverse, organisations will not benefit fully from the enhanced performance and innovation that having a range of perspectives and experiences brings.

“Changing the Chemistry is a charity seeking to bring greater diversity of thought to the boardroom. It helps both board candidates from diverse background and organisations wanting to enhance the diversity of their board to change the chemistry in the boardroom.”

Changing the Chemistry: business insider front cover Changing the Chemistry: business insider

Latest CtC Trustee – Karthik Subramanya

Another of our new CtC trustees is Karthik Subramanya. Karthik is currently Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy and management consulting firm, where he advises senior executives within Utilities across Europe and the Middle East on strategic issues. He is currently also fundraising to create a buy and build platform in the energy and engineering services industry.
Till 2015, Karthik was Director of Strategy and Performance at SSE, and prior to that held senior management positions in Strategy, Corporate banking and Private Equity in the Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. He started his career as a management consultant with KPMG and Mitchell Madison Group.
Karthik is a Board Member of Creative Scotland, the main funding agency for arts, film and creative industries in Scotland. He has played a leading role in the Indian arts in Scotland having produced and presented a number of festivals and concerts.
Karthik has championed diversity of thought in all the organisations that he has been a part of, firmly believing that this leads to a superior decision making outcome by avoiding groupthink. CtC is making huge strides in advancing this cause one boardroom at a time and he is excited to have the opportunity to contribute.
Karthik was born in India where he obtained his electrical engineering degree and completed his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has lived in the UK since the late nineties, initially in London and has made Edinburgh his home for the past 10 years.

What NEDs are thinking

Drawing on responses from more than 4,000 directors from 60 countries, the 2016 Global Board of Directors Survey by Spencer Stuart explores in depth how directors think and operate. It captures in detail the governance practices, strategic priorities and views on board effectiveness of corporate directors around the world.
Among the highlights of the report:
• Directors around the world are uncertain about global growth prospects: Directors in North America and Western Europe are least confident about the prospects for growth. Sixty-three percent of directors in these regions see uncertain economic conditions, compared with 36% in Asia and 40% in Africa.
• Cybersecurity is among the top three political issues relevant to directors: Directors rank the economy, regulatory environment and cybersecurity as the political issues most relevant to them.
• Gap seen between best practice and reality in boards’ readiness to handle strategic challenges: Talent, regulations, global and domestic competition, and innovation are seen by directors as the top impediments to achieving their companies’ strategic objectives. How those challenges rank specifically depends in part on whether directors are serving public or private companies.
• Directors favor tools to trigger board renewal, though few boards have them today. Respondents indicated broad support for term limits and mandatory retirement although approximately only one-quarter of boards have a retirement age and 36% have term limits in place.
• Greater scrutiny/spotlight doesn’t always drive greater diversity. Public companies have more independent directors than the private companies whose directors participated in the survey, but private company directors report similar proportions of female and ethnic minority directors on their boards.
To read the full report, visit https://www.spencerstuart.com/research-and-insight/2016-global-board-of-directors-survey