WIG's year in review: 2020

In times of uncertainty and urgency, the sectors become more motivated to talk. New WIG members such as Honda, Google, Vodafone, and the Direct Line Group have recognised this. The enthusiasm to become informed, to check for best practice, to align analysis and compare context increases. We have certainly found evidence of this in the last year. The value of investing in people development has been in evidence too. Bolstering the confidence, self-reliance, resilience, and skills of leaders is not a luxury but a necessity. Looking ahead, we are determined to capitalise on our digital delivery. You can read our CEO Simon Ancona's summary of the year here.


As we entered 2020 our plans already included developing an ambitious digial offer for members - with virtual events being a part of this. These plans have accelerated rapidly, with a wide range of digital content and virtual event formats being delivered over the past 9 months.

  • Over 150 events delivered in 2020
  • Over 5,000 unique attendees to our virtual events
  • People listening in from over 30 different countries
  • Over 350 people tuned into the WIG Annual Interview (our biggest yet), with the Cabinet Secretary, 100+ CEOs, Director Generals and Permanent Secretaries
  • Over 450 senior engagements at Director and CEO Roundtables
  • And finally, a whopping 12,444 total attendances to our events from 1 January to now

From March 2020, we worked rapidly to redesign all our programmes to be highly engaging, interactive online learning experiences. 

  • 72 different organisations have participated in our leadership programmes
  • 127 delegates on programmes
  • 1412 people attended Development Seminars (including those held online) 
  • We developed leaders across the sectors in 10 separate Leadership Programmes (4 bespoke)
  • In autumn, 2 virtual 'organisational raids' were kindly hosted by Browne Jacobson and Fujitsu, and an online inquiry visit hosted by AVuk
  • We are grateful for the continued support from over 1,400 alumni of WIG programmes

We are enormously proud that in this challenging year, the majority of WIG members have stayed with us, and quite a few new ones have joined, validating the importance of our cross-sector work during a year when nothing was certain. We look forward to working with you in 2021, with more exciting member offers on the horizon. 

  • In 2020, we were delighted to welcome 13 new members
  1. Biffa plc
  2. Centrica
  3. Direct Line Group
  4. Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) 
  5. Google UK
  6. Honda Motor Europe
  7. Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 
  8. LEGO 
  9. Reckitt Benckiser (RB) 
  10. Shaw Trust
  11. Thales UK
  12. The Regulator of Social Housing
  13. Vodafone UK 
  • 15,420 individuals from membership organisations engaged with us through leadership programmes and virtual events attendance (an increase of 84% on 2019 engagement figures)
  • This year has given WIG the opportunity to branch out from London, and increase engagement from members from all regions in the UK and beyond
  • We have collated feedback from conversations with our members on how organisations across the sectors have reacted to the pandemic. See the summary report here.

Please take 5 min to give us your views about our current website and be in with a chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher. 

Our Talent team has made great strides this year particularly in championing Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. They have recently worked with Creative Access, the only organisation in the UK dedicated to recruiting under-represented talent in the creative industries, to recruit two members of their Advisory Board and a Trustee. WIG has also changed the way it recruits internally, by moving to name-blind recruitment and no longer using CVs for all roles.

  • 24% of our Non-Executive and Trustee appointments this year have been BAME candidates
  • We have more than doubled the number of Non-Executive and Trustee placements from 2019
  • 51 fast streamers, future leaders for the public sector, were placed on secondment into not-for-profit organisations in 2020
  • All secondment roles were assessed and deemed critical to the nation's COVID response, an enormous contribution from government to support the not-for-profit sector at this time 
  • All secondments have been carried out virtually  
  • 160 new joiners to the Civil Service Fast Stream signed up to WIG sessions at their induction, to explore doing a secondment while on a Fast Stream development programme 
  • A full-page spread featured in the Financial Times promoting the Charity Next programme 
  • WIG developed a new Mentor Match platform, to provide a safe space to connect virtually with cross-sector mentors and mentees. Sign up here to be part of our free 6 month pilotAcceptance on a first come, first served basis.