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Start Codon and RBW launch Diverse Directors Programme (DDP)

In partnership with RBW consulting, Start Codon has announced a new programme that aims to increase diversity in life science boardrooms.

Start Codon and RBW Consulting are proud to announce an important initiative to increase diversity at senior levels in the Life Sciences sector – the Diverse Directors Programme (DDP).

Bringing their respective skills, knowledge and experience together, the two organisations will be working to help address the diversity gap at senior levels in Life Science organisations.

Start Codon and RBW want to help bring about meaningful change, by providing opportunities to those who may previously have been overlooked for Director/Non-Executive Director (NED) roles, or who may not have felt able to put themselves forward in the past.

The companies are pleased to open up the opportunity to support this programme to like-minded people and organisations.

Why is this programme needed?

Boards play a pivotal role in shaping an organisation's strategic direction and overall success, and diverse board members bring a wealth of perspectives and expertise to decision-making processes. By finding and nurturing diverse NED talent, and creating opportunities for those whose lack of direct experience has held them back, change can happen.

Emma Thorp, Chief Commercial Officer at RBW said: “In the recruitment industry, we’re well aware of the challenge of people hiring in their own likeness – whether consciously or subconsciously. Through the DDP we want to demonstrate the value of bringing people with different experiences, backgrounds and ways of thinking into these senior roles, as we know the positive impact this has on company performance.”

Research and experience have shown that capable and diverse individuals are out there, but they may lack confidence, experience and/or opportunities to advance into a Director/NED role. By giving real-life board experience, alongside everything else on offer, this programme aims to remove the barriers to becoming a NED.

Emma Plowman, Talent Director at Start Codon said: “While the value of diverse leadership teams is increasingly recognised, the progress in boardrooms is too slow. We want to create real opportunities to build up the skills, confidence and experience of people who aren’t currently sat on boards, but who absolutely have the potential to make a significant contribution to the Life Sciences sector in the UK and beyond.”

The DDP aims to bridge the gaps that exist today, by providing a unique blend of skills training, mentoring, coaching and real-world experience – including board observer placements and mock board exercises.

Sign up to support the DDP

Start Codon and RBW Consulting encourage industry professionals to support the DDP in various ways, such as by offering to share experiences, mentor participants, or provide board observer placements.

The companies are also keen to receive recommendations, where talent has been spotted but an individual may not have the confidence to put themselves forward for future cohorts. The pilot programme is scheduled to commence in the UK in Autumn 2023.

To get involved as a programme supporter, please contact

Start Codon and RBW Consulting are excited about the potential of the Diverse Directors Programme and eagerly anticipate its full launch later this year. The companies extend their gratitude to all those who have contributed to making the program happen.

Find out more.