Nicole Gajree

Trustee at PACE, a children’s play and well-being charity

Combining a board role with a career break

A board position can be a great fit with a career break. It allows you to use your professional skills and connect with a cause you care about. It also provides continuity on your CV and generally works around family or other commitments.

We were delighted to hear that Nicole Gajree, a marketeer who is currently looking after her young family, has joined a charity board she’s passionate about. Here is what she had to say about her journey to the boardroom:

“I am happy to report that I was offered the position of Trustee for PACE. To say that I could not have done this without Women on Board’s help is an understatement.”

“When I first joined Women on Boards and attended an Information Webinar, I immediately felt empowered to start applying for board positions in spite of my situation: I was a stay-at-home mother. Taking the decision to stay home with my daughter had not been an easy one. I was very career-minded before giving birth but I felt strongly that I wanted to reprioritise my time.

I found out about Women on Boards through Punita Hossain, who is also a member of the network and a non-executive herself. She assured me that, despite my situation and the fact that I had not reached senior management in my career thus far, I still had a lot of value to add as a board member given my marketing background. I was reassured of this again and again from every person I spoke to through Women on Boards.

Use the vacancy board

Every  few days I would check the Women on Boards vacancies, searching for a role that focused on children or youth charities, or inclusivity and diversity. When I first discovered a role that seemed like a perfect fit (a trustee position at Inspire!), I had to rush to write my Board CV, using the Women on Boards resources. I was very limited on time so I wasn’t able to use the 1-on-1 CV Review help before the application. However, I requested a review of my new CV for future applications. I was connected with Alison Thorne, who had great feedback on my CV and helped me think positively about the next steps with Inspire! Although I was not shortlisted for this role, Inspire! asked me for advisory marketing help, which I feel happy to do. 

In parallel, I applied for a trustee position for PACE. When I was asked to come for an interview, I was put in touch with Rachel Tranter for 1-on-1 support. I felt very confident having had guidance on what to prepare. In fact, everything Rachel guided me on was spot on’ and was discussed during my interview. I was delighted to be appointed to the board!  

So with Alison, Rachel and everyone along the way, as well as all of the amazing resources on the Women on Boards site, here I am as a non-executive today. My journey in the boardroom has only just begun.

Thank you to Women on Boards for setting up this wonderful network and for believing in the women you help. I am indebted to you all.”

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