How We Worked With You In 2019

Since its inception in 1984, The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) has been building on its legacy of connecting the sectors. WIG acts as a convener, opening up a safe and constructive place for early career to C-suite individuals to discuss the issues that most affect the UK and beyond. Collaboration is always at the heart of WIG’s aims, and we understand that no one issue can be fully resolved by one sector alone.

In 2019, the WIG team worked tirelessly through challenging political moments and changing policies, continuing to deliver a much-needed ‘safe space’ for dialogue. WIG not only offered a plethora of free events during 2019, it placed 90 secondees into roles, providing experience of working in a different sector, and tailor-matched 20 mentees with suitable mentors. Our Leadership team saw individuals build their confidence and network on one of our five cross-sector Leadership Programmes.

WIG endeavours to deliver the highest quality, and we are delighted to have attracted new members who saw the benefit in joining us.

Jump to: 


In 2019, our dedicated membership team welcomed 16 new members, making that a total of 233 member organisations from across the private, public and the not-for-profit sectors, as well as academia.

We would like to welcome our newest members:

  • The Open University
  • Government Actuary’s Department
  • Aston University
  • HS2
  • Amazon Web Services
  • UKGI
  • National Grid
  • Cognizant
  • Pure Storage
  • Mondelez
  • Worldskills UK
  • Legal & General
  • BDO
  • Ofsted
  • Associated British Ports


WIG consistently holds free, high quality events throughout the year, and 2019 was no exception. We held 120+ free member events covering our seven different themes: Brexit & International, Economic Growth & Prosperity, People, Infrastructure, Technology & Digital, Society, and Environment & Climate Change.

In 2019 alone, these wide-ranging events attracted over 6500 individuals, 2728 from the private sector, 3427 from the public sector, and 363 from the not-for-profit sector. Each topic is chosen carefully based on the key cross-sector issues the United Kingdom faces. We’ve made it even easier for you to search the topics that matter to you by adding theme filters to our events calendar.

Women's Networking Lunch 2019

Our reputation over the past 35 years has built firm and long-standing relationships with business leaders and key players in government, and the not-for-profit sector. Speaking at our events in 2019 were 138 C-Suite & senior speakers ranging from CEOs to Permanent Secretaries and Director Generals.

Our 2019 Annual Interview brought together the most senior civil servants and their private sector counterparts: Sir John Manzoni - Chief Executive of the Civil Service, Dido Harding – Chair of NHS Improvement, Sir Charlie Mayfield – Chair of John Lewis, and Lord Gus O’Donnell – Former Cabinet Secretary. An exclusive benefit to WIG members, the Annual Interview creates the rare opportunity for the most senior leaders across sectors to engage with one another in the same space, discussing the most important issues of the day.

WIG 35th Annual Interview


Our Leadership Programmes have gone from strength to strength since inception, and in 2019 alone we saw 215 individuals go through one of our five cross-sector Leadership Programmes:

  • Exchange Programme
  • Senior Leaders Programme
  • Women’s Leadership Programme
  • Step Up Step Across
  • Future Leaders Programme
Leadership Programme


In 2019, the WIG Women’s Leadership Programme proved to be so popular that an extra start date for March 2020 was added and is filling fast.

In 2019, 738 individuals built their skills through WIG’s Development Seminars. 75 organisations saw the benefit of their employees completing a WIG Leadership Programmes, and with new ideas in development for 2020, it is an exciting time to be part of WIG.

Throughout the year, WIG arranged organisational ‘raids’, a one-day exchange of best practice, designed to deliver whole team development to learn from another sector. These explored different approaches and assessments, tackled workplace issues and identified areas for organisational improvement. 

WIG had some excellent feedback from a recent ‘raid’ it coordinated between the Met Police and BAE Systems.

“I can honestly say that this was one of the most worthwhile training and development packages I have undertaken during my time in the MPS. It was refreshing to see a new approach underpinned by a different perspective to tackling common problems. It was also highly beneficial to see a separate organisation who had successfully tackled issues that are currently emergent in our sphere of operations. In conclusion the whole day was an excellent experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody else who was considering attending a similar event.” - Jamie Gordon, Inspector, Met Police

“Incredibly useful.  The engagement of BAE Systems with MET staff was second to none.  The environment in which we were accommodated was excellent for the whole day discussion.  There was a lot of strong themes and conversation which was the point of the day.  I felt personally proud of my staff and their interaction with all aspects of the event.  I also felt that the WIG team were exceptional in the planning and delivery of the day.” - Syed Hussain, Detective Chief Inspector, Met Police

WIG received extremely positive comments on ‘raids’ between OU and Drax, and Browne Jacobson and ONS, with participants building valuable understanding and developing skills from the hosts.

As founder members of the Public Service Transformation Academy, last year alone we attracted over 250 movers and shakers in the public service transformation space to an annual conference. Delegates ranged from central and local government, to the private, and not-for-profit sectors, sharing over 30 case studies. We also hit our mark of 1,300 alumni of our flagship Commissioning Academy Programme running across the UK and beyond.

2019 also proved to be a milestone for WIG’s Leadership Impact Awards, whereby the standard for nominations was so high that three winners were chosen. Impactful leaders of the year were Kate Willsher (IfM), William Goldsmith (National Grid), and Louise Bratchie (HMRC) – read more here.

Winners of WIG's 2019 Leadership Impact Awards

The 2020 Leadership Impact Awards ceremony is on 31 March. Check back later for this year’s winners.

2019 was a particularly big year for our Talent team.

We have worked with the Office of Legal Complaints (OLC), Royal Navy, the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), the Department for International Trade (DIT), and the Bank of England. We have placed Charity Next secondees with not-for-profits, including WWF and the British Red Cross, providing cross-sector talent and skills to execute particular projects with success.

 “I was given real responsibility and ownership of a policy area which has strengthened my leadership skills and confidence.” - Tasqeen Ahmed, Charity Next secondee

We are also particularly proud of our secondee diversity. Charity Next placed a higher proportion of BAME secondees in the last year than their representation in the Fast Stream as a whole, with 29% being BAME (the Fast Stream cohort as a whole is 18% BAME). It also saw a higher proportion of secondees with disabilities (12%), and secondees from a lower socio-economic background (8.5%), than their representation in the Fast Stream as a whole.