Transport for London

In Summer 2016 Green Park was awarded the contract to support the Greater London Authority and TfL in the appointment of 10 members for the TfL board. The TfL board had several areas that needed improving.

In Deloitte’s Independent Board Effectiveness Review 2015, the primary finding was that the composition of the board needed to be more representative of London demographics, factoring in for diversity in ethnicity and gender. Secondly, there was a need to attract members with skills and expertise in digital technology, urban space planning, train engineering and manufacturing; treasury and government funding; health and safety, and change management. Of particular importance were recommendations for the board to expand their stewardship role and provide more strategic guidance.

The challenge Green Park faced in refreshing this board was to ensure that individuals were presented who would not only have the requisite breadth of board-level experience and the depth of specialist expertise, but also who would increase gender, ethnicity and disability representation. Green Park therefore looked to leverage its networks of BME, female and disabled candidates with senior or board-level experience across public and private

sectors, who operated in large-scale, complex, national and international organisations. Given the nature of the relationship between the GLA and TfL, it was important to ensure that all stakeholders were consulted prior to the agreement of the target list. As such, Green Park undertook a comprehensive consultation exercise, which consisted of a number of face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations with key individuals to enable them to impart their views and give, where appropriate, any names of individuals they wished to be included in the search.

As a result of this exercise, Green Park focused its search on attracting individuals from industries such as: financial services, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, construction, infrastructure and technology (including more entrepreneurial start-ups) as well as high-profile individuals in local, regional and central government.

Green Park produced a strong shortlist of 24 candidates, of which 39 per cent were BAME, 52 per cent were female and 12 per cent were disabled. The shortlist was then taken forward to final interview with a panel chaired by the Deputy Mayor for Transport. As a result of this exercise, ten candidates were selected, with a number of others being earmarked as potential future board members. Of the ten selected, half were female, a third were BAME and one individual was disabled. This represents a significant shift in diversity from the previous board, which – with a couple of notable exceptions – were predominately white males.

The depth of Green Park’s diversity networks, which allowed fast access to board-level, diverse talent, proved key to the success of this campaign. Also crucial was the significant time and resource given to the campaign by senior members of the Green Park team, which ensured a high-touch approach to both client and candidate management.

As a result of the success of this campaign, Green Park was chosen to work with TfL and the Mayor on the appointment of the new commissioner for walking and cycling