As a former FTSE100 communications director, I have long believed that there are not enough career opportunities for senior communicators. In particular, there are simply too few corporate affairs and communications directors being considered for NED (non-executive director) roles. Having discussed this issue with numerous communications leaders over the past 12 months, the majority seem to agree.

One of the key aims of Cayhill Partners, the communications executive search and research firm, is to open up career development opportunities for senior communications professionals. That means exploring the path that leads to new senior executive roles both within the communications world and beyond, but also considering what NED positions can offer. I believe they are a powerful way of further developing leadership skills and can boost careers in communications that often follow a somewhat linear path.

Many corporate affairs directors possess a range of unique skills and experiences which would add considerable value around the board table. I was keen to explore why when so many communications professionals are eager to secure NED posts, so few are successful.

The findings in this report shed light on the situation and give both communications directors as well as business leaders an insight into the topic. I hope they provide a platform for further discussion – and action.

Dee Cayhill
Director, Cayhill Partners