The Nominations Committee
Established: 9 November 2021
The Nominations Committee is responsible for the strategic oversight of the selection and induction processes for the members of the RCSLT’s Board of Trustees and other governing committees. Its role is to ensure the Board develops a diverse and representative pipeline of future leaders; that roles are advertised effectively; and that the RCSLT has the right mix of skills at Board and committee level to ensure our leadership is inclusive and prepared to take the organisation into the future.
The establishment of the committee and recruitment of its members is another step in the RCSLT’s journey towards greater diversity within the profession.
The committee aims to make applying for a position on the Board of Trustees or other governing committees as welcoming and supportive as possible, so that everyone feels confident that they apply for these positions. The process will not be an example of positive discrimination (which is not lawful, and would disadvantage others), but rather, positive action. ‘Positive action’ is lawful and involves making the workplace fairer for disadvantaged or under-represented groups (ACAS, 2022). In this way, it is hoped that applicants from under-represented groups can overcome any barriers they have faced through discrimination and lack of opportunity.
We will be encouraging people from under-represented groups to apply for positions in the hope of increasing diversity. This does not mean that if you are not a member of an underrepresented group you cannot apply. We encourage anyone who is interested to enquire and apply for vacant positions. We will have been successful when we attract a wide range of candidates. At interview and when making appointment decisions, the candidate most suitable for the position will be selected.
This work is in common with similar successful schemes in the UK, such as:
- Athena Swan Charter scheme (which aims to achieve gender equality in Higher Education, where women are under-represented in the sector).
- Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index to encourage lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace.
For more information on RCSLT leadership and governance, please see About us.
Committee terms of reference
Read the Nominations Committee terms of reference (PDF) – approved 4 March 2022.
Meet the committee members
Dr Sean Pert, Nominations Committee chair and RCSLT deputy chair
Dr Sean Pert qualified as an SLT in 1995. Since then, he has worked in the NHS, charity sector and higher education, and has been awarded the Sternberg Award for Clinical Innovation on three occasions. His PhD investigated the identification of developmental language disorder in bilingual children. Currently, Sean works as a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Manchester and as a consultant SLT for the Indigo Gender Service in Greater Manchester, providing voice and communication intervention for trans and gender diverse people.
Ilyeh Nahdi, speech and language therapist
Ilyeh is a paediatric speech and language therapist with interests in culture and diversity, neurology and clinical research. She is one of the creators of the Giving Voice Award winning online platform SLTea Time, created in May 2020. This platform seeks to produce content that discusses race, ethnicity and the lived experiences of SLTs from under-represented communities as well as offer bespoke training to organisations on cultural competency within a SLT framework. Ilyeh has completed the BDA Future Leaders programme, developing leadership and governance skills, with the aim of better understanding how systemic change can be achieved to ensure equity for allied health professionals from diverse backgrounds. Twitter: @IlyehNahdiSLT
Dorett Davis, speech and language therapist
Dorett is a speech and language therapist by profession and currently manages a range of children’s community services, including children’s therapies. She is also one of the creators behind SLTs of Colour, an online support platform formed in June 2022. The platform aims is to promote speech and language therapy as a career to people who come from minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as providing information for those new to the profession.
Melanie Packer, senior speech and language therapy lecturer
Melanie qualified as a speech and language therapist in 2006 and worked for the NHS in Warwickshire until 2018. At this point she joined Birmingham City University in 2018 and is both a placement lead and a senior lecturer in speech and language therapy. Melanie continues to maintain a special interest in prevention, early identification and intervention of speech, language communication needs in the early years, as well as professional practice and the development of a diverse workforce.
Leasil Burrow, RCSLT lay trustee (responsible for Human Resources and Organisational Development)
Leasil is an associate fellow at the University of Oxford, where she directs and teaches leadership on various executive programmes. She holds a degree in law from the University of Central Lancashire, an MSc in major programmes from the University of Oxford, and has studied behavioural economics and corporate governance at Harvard Business School and neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also the founder and executive director of an organisational effectiveness and executive coaching company, specialising in transformational leadership and personal branding.
Andrea Robinson, RCSLT trustee and country representative for England (North)
Andrea qualified as an SLT in 2007 and worked for the NHS in Derbyshire in paediatric speech and language therapy. She was a Giving Voice ambassador and raised awareness of the profession in Derbyshire and beyond, winning the Advancing Healthcare Award in 2012 for putting speech and language therapy ‘in the limelight’. In 2014, she moved to Dawn House School and worked with children across the age ranges, becoming the school’s head of therapy in April 2018. She completed a Level 5 course in Leadership and Management of Social Care and Children’s Services.
Ann Whitehorn, general trustee
Ann qualified as an SLT in 1973 with distinction and started work at Guy’s Hospital, having been a final year student there. She worked with a mixed adult and paediatric caseload until 1981 when, having gradually developed a specialisation in voice/head and neck, she was appointed to a clinical specialist role. In 1994, she became head of speech and language therapy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, continuing this role until her retirement. As a senior leader, she acted as director of therapies and represented the directorate on various trust-wide committees in the field of cancer and supportive care. In 2009, she co-led a successful tender for a community head and neck multidisciplinary team in partnership with Lewisham Primary Care Trust. In 2004, she was appointed trust management side lead for job evaluation, and led a national working group for RCSLT, reviewing and revising national speech and language therapy job profiles. Since retirement, she has continued in this role.