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Tech Manchester Mentor Claims National Accolade

Article date: Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:58 GMT

Dianne Walker

A North-West business leader enrolled in Tech Manchester’s mentoring programme has won a prestigious national industry award, following nominations from the business community.

Dianne Walker, who sits on the board of several large Northern companies including bakery supply distributor BAKO and chemical manufacturer Scott Bader Co., picked up the Dame Helen Alexander ‘NED to Watch’ award during a ceremony at Claridge’s Hotel in London.

The Non-Executive Director (NED) Awards were established in 2006 and recognise the achievements of non-executive directors within business and not-for-profit communities.

Walker started her business consultancy in 1998, after a successful career as a chartered accountant and audit manager with PWC. Her clients vary from global PLCs to SMEs and start-ups, with additional non-executive positions at a business providing residential care activities, Star Units Limited, and the Joint Audit Committee of North Wales Police.

Walker joined Tech Manchester in 2018, taking part in the organisation’s popular mentoring programme, which supports startup companies in their development, funded by hosting firm UKFast.

She said: “It was a pleasure and honour to be shortlisted alongside such talented people, and to then go on to win, the UK NED to Watch Award.

“The role of a NED is to provide constructive, but robust challenge to boards, and it is a tribute to my fellow directors that they are receptive and responsive to an independent view.

“Dame Helen Alexander, in whose name the award is given, left a legacy which I consider is a blueprint for all NEDs, and for women in particular; I look forward to building upon my NED career with that in mind.

“I enjoy the variety my career and pro-bono activities continue to bring, and my recent involvement as a mentor with UKFast’s Tech Manchester initiative has been enjoyable, hopefully helpful for others, and an opportunity for me to understand better the challenges to tech start-ups.

“Thank you, in particular, to Patricia Keating and Humza Khan for nominating me for the award, it was a most welcome surprise!”

Patricia Keating, Director at Tech Manchester, said: “We are delighted to see Dianne recognised at a national level for her expertise across a diverse range of business areas.

“Her knowledge is incredible, which is why so many other companies value her input and perspective. We are extremely grateful for the time Dianne volunteers to help much earlier stage businesses on the Tech Manchester mentor programme to reach their potential.”

Zain Mohammed, Walker’s mentee on the programme, said: "Dianne has been an incredible mentor for me. She has a vast trove of knowledge and experience from the business world, and I feel privileged to able to tap into this."

Tech Manchester is currently inducting new mentors and mentees for the latest round of its popular mentoring programme. Find out more.

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