Breaking Diversity Barriers

Development Programme for finance staff in 7-8b roles from under-represented groups

Applications for 2021-22 are now closed

2022-23 cohort applications open in August

View the draft programme

View the draft programme outlining what you can expect from sessions over the 3 workshop days.

Download it here

Who is this development programme for?

This development programme aims to empower finance staff from under-represented groups (i.e., those with diverse ethnic, gender, disability, and LGBTQ+ Protected Characteristics) by giving them the skills to overcome the barriers that they face in their working lives. These barriers, which were identified during our research, including the safehouse discussions and the One NHS Finance engagement campaign, frequently prevent such people in Band 7-8b roles from progressing into Band 8b+ roles.

After completion of this programme, candidates should feel confident to step-up into more senior positions and to apply to our other existing senior talent management programmes.


Maximum participant number: 30

Eligibility: Finance staff who identify as one or more of the groups under-represented at nhs finance director level, including:

  • females
  • LGBTQ+ staff
  • disabled, and neuro-diverse staff
  • ethnic minority groups

Band Level: 7-8b roles

Cost: Free to attend, with the expectation of travel and overnight accommodation to be covered by the individual or via their NHS organisation. Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the three days. For any no-shows or late cancellations, a fee will be charged to the individual.

Application process: Nomination from Finance Director/ Deputy or line-manger via email. With a personal statement (no more than 500 words) about who you are and your story so far, where you want to get to in your career, and the barriers you have identified that you want to explore and overcome in this programme.

Format: 3 x full workshop days over 3-4 months. One Chair for all three days with individual speakers and facilitators invited to present. Programme will include sessions from experts and leaders within the equality, diversity and inclusion field and will be interactive and discussion-led. Participants will be expected to share and feedback openly during the sessions but can be assured that confidentiality and Chatham House Rules will be instated. 

In-between ‘check-in’ days with a Sponsor that delegates must arrange themselves. Homework to complete between event days.


  • Building confidence and resilience – being your authentic self
  • Recognising barriers to diversity and inclusion and how to overcome these
  • Gaining the confidence to challenge discrimination and perceived inequalities in the workplace
  • Upskilling to work within inherently biased environments
  • Learning how to present your unique selling point and using that to aid in career progression


View the draft programme here (please note this is subject to change)


Day one: Tuesday 14th December 2021, London – venue TBC

Day two: Thursday 13th January 2022, Manchester – venue TBC

Day three: Wednesday 16th February 2022, Birmingham – venue TBC

All participants who apply for the programme must be available to attend all three dates. 


Applications for Cohort 2 2021-22 are now closed and currently being reviewed. Applications will open up again for Cohort 3 in Autumn 2022.