Open Session: Keeping Bias in Check on YOUR Board

Key Learning Points

1. What processes are available to help you do this on the boards on which you serve?

2. AI – a help or a hindrance?

3. Where might bias creep in?


Sharon Critchlow champions emotional intelligence in leadership, diversity and culture change for enhanced productivity and raises awareness, advocates and trains leaders and companies in wellness:

• As director, speaker and well-being advocate at Discover your Bounce for Business she advises and works with organisations including The National Autistic Society and Creative Youth Network to improve their wellness cultures and resilience.
• As a Global Council member at ACCA she is championing EQ. She has spoken on this subject at the National Conference in Wales, and at member events across the UK and the Caribbean.
• As director and Consultant at Newgrange Developments, she delivers a range of advice at executive and board level. Her specialism is corporate governance and Economic Social Governance.
• As NED at Discover your Bounce Lifestyle, she supports them with governance and business performance.

An Accountant by profession, with a creative and entrepreneurial streak, her career has combined leadership, consultancy and life-long learning with many years of experience in governance.

Sharon Co-Leads Transpire’s People, Culture & Wellbeing Faculty.

James Middlehurst

Portfolio Non Exec Chair with 30 years experience serving on Boards in a variety of sectors. 

Chair at the London Football Association responsible for making Football in London accessible to All. James is leading the FA drive to promote gender balance and ethnic diversity across all levels of Grassroots Football.

Also currently Chair at the Holly Lodge Centre [ Royal Charity SEND school ] and Founder & Chair at InstructorBox Ltd [ tech start up ]  –  a bespoke videolink platform for Sports & Fitness Instructors.

A background in direct marketing, data insight and Data Governance James served on the Direct Marketing Association Board for many years before being asked to set up the Direct Marketing Commission  –  the forerunner to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

James is now focused on addressing the challenge of creating a sustainable workplace for all by addressing the challenges of maintaining an individual’s mental & physical welfare.

Martyn Lax – Co-Founder of Assessment-Ai Ltd 

I have over 26 years’ experience working in the recruitment industry as A Director of a Plc, running my own consultancy and have made all the mistakes you can (apparently that makes me an expert). 

I am an NLP Leadership Master Practitioner specialising in Behavioural Performance Psychology. 

As Co-Founder of Assessment-Ai, we exist to help people (we are not a recruitment business) select, hire and promote the right person, first time, every time, using job specific behavioural assessments which significantly improves staff engagement and retention, resulting in a happier work force. 

Francesca Ecsery is a Portfolio Non-Executive Director / Chairman / MD / GM with 30+ years experience in both blue chip companies and start-ups in the Digital / Retail / FMCG / Leisure travel industries. Special expertise in omni-channel consumer Marketing, Branding and Commercial strategies which deliver growth and profits. Currently NED in a diverse range of listed and private companies from F&C Investment Trust to Air France. Previous executive experience includes McKinsey, PespiCo, ThornEMI, Thomas Cook and STA Travel.

Francesca Co-Leads Transpire’s Diversity & Inclusion Faculty.

Devyani Vaishampayan is a ‘Future of Work ‘ digital innovation specialist, Non Executive Director and Investment Fund Manager. Previously an international and multi-sector Group HRD – experienced in effectively leading large, diverse and multi billion complex organisations through transformational change. Featured in the 2020 Asian Women of Achievement – Digital & Technology shortlist, 2017 Financial Times “Ethnic Minority Leaders List “and the 2016 , “FTSE 100 ‘Women to Watch “list by Cranfield Business School.

Thought Leader and Regular Speaker- I have been invited to speak at various global forums around the impact of AI & Digital on the Future of Work.Visit for more details about my speaking events.

Having lived across four countries and three continents, I have learned to cherish diversity, develop intellectual curiosity and value constant self-reinvention.

Business background includes:- Board governance;Digital innovation,Cost reduction; International growth;M&A; Change & Transormation;Leadership and Diversity .

I have been an Independent Board Director at the following institutions :
– British Quality Foundation
– Singapore Association of the Deaf
– The HR Fund ( a Venture Capital Fund, (
– BoardAgender

My educational background includes a degree in Electronics and an MBA, in addition to being a trained Behavioural Scientist.

Devyani Co-Leads Transpire’s Digital Transformation Faculty.

See more upcoming events and testimonial videos here

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