Dr Suzy Walton has been involved in the IoD for many years and currently a board member of the IoD and vice chair of the chartered director committee.
She has a portfolio of non-executive directorships and is deputy chairman of the University of Westminster, the RSA and Internet Watch Foundation, which regulates the internet against criminality.
Suzy has over a decade’s experience in Whitehall and has served in the prime minister’s strategy unit, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence. Previously she was a producer, presenter and editor for LBC Radio, Sky News and BBC Television and a West End actress in the award-winning Children of a Lesser God.
How did you arrive at the IoD?
"I was always attracted to the organisation as a destination, there was a lot I felt I could learn from the IoD, so I decided to get involved. I came to many of the events and then decided to put myself through the Chartered Director programme. The IoD almost became my second home."
How did the Chartered Director programme fit with your role?
"When I started I was in government and I could see the value in that setting. During the course of obtaining the qualification, however, I expanded the number of boards I sat on outside of government and started to see the benefit of the CDir qualification in any setting.
“Once I achieved it I found that I was able to sit on boards in any sector and do the job professionally and efficiently. Crucially, CDir taught me not only exactly what my responsibilities were as a board director but what they were not. I learnt how to separate out the work of the functional heads of the organisation from the duties of a board director.
“CDir therefore has helped me stay sane as I bring up my six children alongside 10 jobs."
What would you say to those considering the Chartered Director qualification?
"Know your purpose. Are you at board level? If so CDir will help you discharge your duties. Are you thinking of branching out to attain non-exec roles alongside executive ones? CDir will help you as a non-exec director just as much as an executive director. It is the qualification for all board directors.
“Are you on, or heading for, the board of a FTSE 250 company or a PLC? CDir will help you there also. The skills of good corporate governance are applicable to boards in each and every sector.”
What do you get personally from the IoD?
"I’m involved in many areas. Not only do I sit on a board committee and enjoy the events but I use it as a venue to meet colleagues. IoD in all its many guises represents professionalism in running organisations – big small or niche.
“It not only helps you learn how to govern entities better but allows you to network with others doing the same. I love it. It is the flag bearer for governance and governance is what I am passionate about."