WIG – Trustee Vacancies

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) is a charity – not for profit, but for purpose; driven by a team passionate to improve mutual understanding and constructive collaboration between government, industry and the not-for-profit sector.

WIG helps leaders in all sectors in the UK come together in a safe space to learn from each other, discuss mutual challenges, and find the synergies that would help them work more effectively together. The end goal is better business, better government and ultimately a better society.

Being a Trustee of WIG is an unparalleled opportunity to work as a team to provide strategic direction and support for an organisation whose purpose has never been more important at this critical juncture for the UK.

Our members are top FTSE companies and Whitehall departments, charities, universities, local authorities and government agencies.

WIG has support from senior leaders from across the sectors. Trustees include Phil Thomson, President – Global Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline, and Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport. Patrons include Sir Mark Sedwill KCMG, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service; and Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General.

  • Governance
    Day-to-day responsibility for the running of the company’s business lies with the Chief Executive and the WIG team. Simon Ancona CBE was appointed to the role of Chief Executive in November 2018, and will take up the role in February 2019, following the retirement of Peter Unwin CB.

    The WIG board currently comprises 9 trustees drawn from across the sectors, as follows:

    • Phil Thomson – President – Global Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline.

    • Debbie Alder – Director General of Human Resources, Department for Work and Pensions;
    • Howard Davies – Head of Public Policy, Standard Life Aberdeen;
    • David Dinsdale – Chief Digital Officer – Public Sector & Health, Atos;
    • Janette Durbin – HR Director, Civil Service Talent;
    • Pippa Greenslade – Former Group HR Director, Bakkavor;
    • Bernadette Kelly – Permanent Secretary, Department for Transport;
    • Eleanor Kelly – Chief Executive, Southwark Council;
    • Rachel Sandby Thomas – Registrar, University of Warwick.
  • Background
    WIG builds better understanding and co-operation between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors through a range of activities in the following three areas:

    • Events and Networks – understanding and inputting to government policy, sharing best practice, and hearing from Permanent Secretaries and senior private sector speakers.

    • Talent – career development, wider advice and placements that give unique insight into and experience of government, business, and the wider public and not-for-profit sectors. The team arranges mentoring, secondments, non-executive appointments, charity trustee roles, and a range of flexible interchange programmes.

    • Leadership Programmes – from one-day development seminars to longer-term programmes for a range of leadership levels, from early career to senior directors, helping people learn by being exposed to fresh perspectives.

    WIG’s membership of circa 230 organisations is drawn from the breadth of public, private and not-for-profit sector environments. A full list of our members can be found here:


    We are a team of 26 people who are committed to what we do, and feel we can make a difference. The team are valued for their experience and are confident to put forward ideas. Core to our values is a commitment to maintaining a supportive, encouraging and mutually respectful environment in which our people can flourish, where they can develop their potential (whether to progress within WIG or outside), and where they are supported operationally with systems and processes which help them to be professional and efficient.

    Turnover is in the region of £2m per annum. Founded in 1984 as a Charitable Trust, WIG became a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in 1997.
  • Role of the Trustee

    The role offers an opportunity to make a real contribution to WIG’s purpose and to work as part of a high calibre Board of professionals from across the sectors.

    Trustees provide strategic direction for WIG whilst challenging and constructively supporting our continuing work in bringing business, government and the not-for-profit sector together for mutual learning and understanding:

    • Providing direction for the senior WIG team in the development of strategic plans for the charity;
    • Ensuring that the charity is run in accordance with the decision of the trustees, the charity’s governing document, and appropriate legislation;
    • Agreeing the annual business plan designed to achieve the strategy, reviewing and monitoring of strategic, operational and financial performance against that plan;
    • Providing an independent channel for reporting on or dealing with exceptional issues that have the capacity to impact adversely on the organisation.

    Trustees also have a key role in acting as ambassadors for WIG and promoting WIG programmes. They will receive invitations to high-profile WIG events and are expected to attend two high profile events each year.

    Time Commitment

    • The Board meets quarterly at WIG’s offices – 80 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EX.
    • Trustees will also participate on either the Finance & Risk Committee (which meets before the Board) or the Remuneration & Governance Committee (which meets twice per year).
    • With preparation time and some ad hoc meetings and engagements, the total time commitment is likely to be the equivalent of a minimum of 5 days per year – quarterly Board meetings, committee meetings and a strategy away half day.
    • Trustees will also have contact with the WIG Chief Executive and wider team as required.
  • Person Specification, Remuneration and Term of Appointment

    WIG is keen to attract candidates whose organisations are currently or potentially active members of WIG. In particular, WIG is looking for applicants who are passionate about our purpose of mutual learning and understanding across the sectors. The right candidate will possess drive, ambition and recognition of why now, more than ever, WIG’s purpose matters.

    The successful candidate will demonstrate the following:

    • A commitment to learning and an understanding of the importance of co-operation between public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
    • Their organisation will be a member of WIG, or they will bring their organisation into WIG membership.

    WIG is seeking to appoint up to three Trustees to the Board from the following backgrounds, which reflect the diversity of WIG’s membership base:

    • Two senior leaders in the private sector, with experience in one or more of the following areas:
      • Business Leadership – leading a significant P&L or business unit;
      • Finance;
      • Human Resources.
    • A senior leader in the not-for-profit sector.

    There is no remuneration for the role of Trustee, although reasonable expenses will be paid if requested.

    The successful candidate would be invited to join the board in April 2019. Trustees will be appointed initially for a 3 year term, renewable for a further three years. The term can then be renewed up to one year at a time, for a further 3 years, a total of 9 years maximum.

  • Application Process
    • Please apply with a CV, Equalities Monitoring Form (downloadable below) and cover letter (no more than two sides in length), setting out your reasons for applying and how you meet the criteria either by email to Patrick Reihill, Head of Talent via [email protected] or via the WIG website (Apply Now button above)
    • If you have any questions about this opportunity, or would value a confidential discussion, please contact Patrick Reihill, Head of Talent via [email protected] , or Jordon Henderson, Talent Manager via [email protected] – both are available on 0207 222 1166
    • The deadline for applications is Midday, Monday 18 February 2019
    • An interview for shortlisted candidates will take place at the WIG offices on Wednesday 6 March and Tuesday 12 March 2019.
    WIG Trustee Campaign February 2019 WIG Equalities Monitoring Form