Webinar – City CV & Starfish present “Sorry, not sorry: Why women apologise too much #breakingthebias

Date & Time: Thu, May 26, 2022 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM BST

URL: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/955181353581911566

Many women in the workplace begin practically every sentence with the word ‘sorry’. They say, ‘Sorry, is this a good time?’ ‘Sorry, can I come in?’ ‘Sorry, can I speak?’ The ‘sorrys’ that we sprinkle through our days make us appear less confident and competent.

How to talk confidently, and unapologetically, about your achievements in an interview is one of the most common challenges we address in our coaching sessions.

Victoria McLean, Founder and CEO of City CV, will discuss the negative impact the ‘apologising habit’ has on careers and how to break that habit for good.

She will share:

  • What impact over apologising has on your career
  • Why women apologise more than men, especially in the workplace
  • Top strategies to break the habit

This webinar will show you how you can talk confidently, and unapologetically, to get the balance right.

Starfish Search. Leadership journeys, expertly navigated.

Climate – Talent 20 with The MJ

Councils across the country have now declared a climate emergency and those authorities who have not yet passed declarations are placing far greater emphasis on tackling climate change. COP26 demonstrated local government’s passion, influence and pragmatism and councils continue to lead pioneering work to achieve net zero carbon emissions. In this feature, we celebrate the achievements of twenty officers recognised for their commitment, skills and creativity in their work to achieve net zero carbon emissions and slow global warming.

To view the article please the image below

Embracing flexible working: Benefits and barriers in the voluntary sector

We each have our own experiences of flexible working – as individuals and as leaders supporting our teams to work flexibly in order to support inclusion. We know from these experiences that there is no magic formula for successful flexible working: it’s different for each organisation and individual. It’s not always easy to make it work. What’s most important is to start somewhere.

Emerging from the pandemic people are interested in implementing more flexible working arrangements in their organisations. The subject is now particularly important given the changes to the way we organise work and the need for a more inclusive culture. As this report explores, the voluntary sector culture does not always lend itself to flexible working. It is important to note that this report is relevant to all organisations looking to fully embrace a culture of flexibility; this report gives some very practical examples of where positive change has happened and recommendations on how to improve things.


To view/download the full press release please click here.

Webinar Series


At Starfish we use our integrity and insight to bring leaders – and aspiring leaders – together with organisations who share their values. We deliver board level recruitment with purpose, sustainability and influence. We want to strengthen the connection between the recruitment of great leaders and social change and are as experienced at working with senior executives as we are with non-executive leaders to achieve this. 

Supporting candidates through a recruitment process is very important to us and we are therefore running a series of webinars, with partners City CV, aimed at supporting both established and aspiring leaders. The individuals we support range from mid-career professionals to top executives, CEOs, non-executive directors, and members of the board.

If the webinars are something that you’re interested in, please do visit the links below for more information and details of how to register.

Career Masterclass: Becoming a Non-Executive Director – Personal branding and interview skills
Wednesday 1st December 2021 | 12pm – 1pm GMT

Career Masterclass: Getting the best out of your career
Wednesday 19th January 2022 | 12.30pm – 1.30pm GMT

Career Masterclass: Enhancing your CV & LinkedIn Profile
Wednesday 2nd March 2022 | 12.30pm – 1.30pm GMT

Career Masterclass: Preparing for an interview – what you should be thinking about
Wednesday 13th April 2022 | 12.30pm – 1.30pm GMT

DEI Masterclass: Sorry, not sorry: Why women apologise too much
Thursday 26th May 2022 | 12.30pm – 1.30pm GMT

The webinars will be delivered by Victoria McLean, Founder and CEO of City CV, and one of the senior consultants at Starfish Search. In a live Q&A, we will answer your specific questions relating to you and your career.

Starfish launches The 50NED Challenge

Today, Starfish launches The 50NED Challenge. Coinciding with the start of Black History Month, our aim is to help to contribute, 50 ‘boardroom ready’ first time non-executives by the end of 2023: our hope is that, by setting ourselves this target, we can do our bit to break down the barriers that exist when it comes to getting appointed to board roles without having any board experience. We want to encourage and support would-be non-executives from all walks of life who want to join boards, but simply don’t know how to access opportunities and get started.

Our 50NEDs microsite is free to use and contains honest articles and materials to help support would be non-executives as they start their own journey to getting a first board role. We also have a series of videos of non-executives sharing their advice and personal journeys. We hope you find it insightful and informative.

https://50neds.starfishsearch.com or click the link below.

Talent 20 feature in the MJ magazine

Starfish Search is passionate about spotting, supporting and developing talented local government officers with potential. In our second Talent 20 feature, published in the MJ magazine, we are delighted to place a spotlight on another twenty local government leaders of the future, this time focusing on children’s and adult social care, education, communities and public health.

To view the article please the image below

Driving Change in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through strategic HR

Starfish Search is delighted to be supporting the Charity HR Network (CHRN) autumn conference.

Driving Change in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through strategic HR.

Date: 23rd September 2021

For more information on this event please visit, https://www.chrn.org.uk/what-we-do/chrn-conference-2021/

Our session is entitled DEI and the brain – Kate Pearlman-Shaw (Clinical Psychologist and Associate at Starfish Search) and Katy Giddens (Director, Starfish Search) will lead this session.


NCVO and ACEVO join forces to support charities on flexible working

A new working group to look at the issue of flexible working in the charity sector is being launched by membership bodies NCVO and ACEVO with support from Starfish Search.


The issue of flexible working has become all the more crucial due to the rise in home working during the pandemic. A recent survey of charity professionals found that 90% wanted flexible working to continue long-term, and 43% said that they would never apply for a job that was entirely office-based. Yet, the research also raised concerns, with 72% admitting they worked longer hours at home and that boundaries between home and work were a challenge.


The working group will address some of the barriers and stigma about flexible working as well as sharing examples of good practice across the sector. It will be chaired by Becky Hewitt, former CEO of Changing Faces, and will include up to ten members from across the voluntary sector who have a diversity of experiences and views to share. The group will report their findings later this year, which will include signposting to key resources on flexible working to support voluntary organisations.


To view/download the full press release please click here.

Talent 20 Article

Starfish was very excited to be able to champion the upcoming talent in the local government sector with this feature we wrote for the MJ magazine, highlighting 20 rising stars in the Place portfolio of services.  We will run more of these in the coming months, focusing on different areas of local government.

To view the article please the image below

The hard and soft skills of successful non-executive directors

When applying for board positions, non-executive directors are expected to bring strategic and leadership skills to the table. In today’s challenging business climate, soft skills are also in high demand. 

Having a wealth of experience to bring to a non-executive board position is a clear advantage. Application processes for board roles are competitive, and the time to put your case forward is limited.

So, how do you prepare yourself when applying for non-executive directorships? 

Juliet Taylor, CEO of board recruiters Starfish Search, says, “Understand what the gap is that the organisation is trying to fill and make sure you are clear and confident about what you can offer.”


What is your signature skill? 

Across the globe, companies are experiencing extensive regulatory, technological and financial challenges. Managing business through these challenges requires highly-skilled and experienced board directors. 

“Most boards look for: knowledge, governance expertise, networks, and connection with audiences,” says Taylor. 

“You don’t have to bring all four things, though, so [ask yourself] what’s your signature contribution?”

You can make a difference.

Highly valued non-executive directors are well-versed in emotional intelligence – they can quickly grasp other people’s characteristics and agendas. 

“Understanding the nuance of board roles is also important,” says Taylor. “Consider where the organisation is trying to get to and what you can bring to the party. 

“We are seeing more and more people from all sectors looking for more purposeful ways of using their skills and who want to make a positive contribution to society. 

“Always remember: this is your time, so don’t forget to tell the organisation what the role would give you in return.”


What professional disciplines, or hard skills, are currently in demand on UK boards?  

“The pandemic recovery period means that effective non-executive leaders are in demand more than ever before,” says Taylor. 

“We are seeing increasing numbers of non-executive board members being sought for organisations who need to rebuild or refocus their strategy. 

“We have seen a strong trend in boards looking for people with digital expertise and backgrounds in customer service and organisational or cultural change. 

Those with financial skills and profit-making skills are now high in demand. 

“People who can help increase income or support financial management are also towards the top of the list, as are people who can bring insight into, and connection with, customers and audiences. 

However, it isn’t all about increasing the bottom line and opening the right doors. 

“One of the shifts we are seeing is a marked move away from focusing too much on professional disciplines. Organisations in all sectors are much more aware of their diversity now than they were before 2020. Creating strong, versatile and authentically diverse teams is now a consistent theme.”


What soft skills are in demand?  

An effective board member is hard to define, mainly due to their soft skills, such as the ability to listen and knowing when to speak.  

“It’s hard to tell a great non-executive on paper because so much of the role is about how people operate and not what they have done,” says Taylor.

“Great board members are people who understand how to deploy their expertise in a way that has an impact in a non-executive board setting.” 

Self-awareness is a powerful skill

“The skills that make the difference are the capacity for self-reflection, so people with insight and self-awareness, also diplomacy and listening skills,” says Taylor. 

“Increasingly, people are being expected to bring all their experiences into the board room, not just their professional accomplishments. Sound judgement is key to doing this well and to understand how you can add value.”    

When it comes to the interview

This is your time to reflect and prepare. The role you are applying for needs to be fulfilling and worthwhile for you as well. 

Be clear. Tell the organisation what you can bring to the table to help it reach its goals and why it matters to you.


Leadership journeys, expertly navigated