Today I'm talking to Charlotte Valeur, Founder of Global Governance Group, Founder and Chair of Board Apprentice and former Chair of the Institute of Directors UK.

Charlotte has an extensive portfolio career with a number of Non-Executive Directorships and Chair roles and experience with IPO's, M&A's and restructuring. Over the last decade, she's been a director of 7 public companies, including three appointments as Chair. She also has diverse board experience with a range of unlisted companies.

Refreshingly direct, Charlotte enjoys getting to the heart of challenging governance issues. She's a powerful advocate for ethnic and gender diversity in the boardroom, which is one of the key reasons why I wanted to talk to her in more depth. She leads with "collaboration, honesty, transparency and trust" and is committed to raising the 'collective consciousness' (my words) or "leadership maturity" (her words) of boards everywhere.

In July last year, Charlotte revealed that she's on the autism spectrum and is in the process of launching the Institute of Neurodiversity (ION). The purpose is to create a platform for organisations, governments and academia to share tools and best practices and to raise awareness and visibility around all things Neurodiversity, which needs its own place in society and business.

A mother of three teenagers, Charlotte also believes in tapping into young people's thinking to broaden ours. She talks about how young people will be 50% of the world's population over the next five years and her determination to support them and to bring their thinking and ideas to the table.
"Their voice is the future... and we have to acknowledge that we don't understand what the future needs." 

In 2013, Charlotte realised there was a need to provide a pipeline of board-ready individuals and founded Board Apprentice Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation that provides individuals with hands-on experience at the very top of business. Board Apprentice places appropriate individuals on boards for one year to gain first-hand experience of the workings and dynamics on boards. The organisation has been cited as a resource for bringing about real change in the U.K. Government's recent reviews on ethnic and gender diversity in UK boardrooms. 

Charlotte is a regular and sought after public speaker and conducts board reviews, delivers training and advises boards on corporate governance through her company, Global Governance Group, which she founded in 2009. She has over 35 years experience in finance, primarily as an investment banker in her native Denmark and the UK.  

You can connect with Charlotte over LinkedIn.

Invisible Women
On another note, I mentioned a book, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado Perez during our conversation, which is well worth reading and available from all good bookstores, everywhere.

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