Head of Strategic Initiatives

Nicola Lee


Cianne standing in a wooden courthouse looking at the camera



"Our team, volunteers and members are the heart of WHEN and a reflection of our values and the movement WHEN is creating."


What drew you to become part of WHEN?

It was all part of bigger decision to take some risks and really see what I can do when outside my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to be surrounded by inspirational people and to be part of building something that made a difference and that’s exactly what WHEN is all about. I’d just taken voluntary redundancy whilst on maternity leave and was determined to find an organisation that truly believed in inclusivity and would see my new role as a mother as a strength. When you experience a big life change or challenge, it presents a wonderful opportunity for growth and I wanted to grab hold of that. I remember the role coming up on LinkedIn through a connection at such serendipitous timing that I knew it was meant for me.

So what is it you do for WHEN?

This role was set to be the first employee for WHEN. Alice, our brilliant CEO and Founder still jokes that she created the job title so that nothing was off limits. Well to me at the time, that couldn’t have been more perfect as I wanted to learn and have a go at everything. 
The role has been all-encompassing. At the core, it’s about making things happen and bringing Alice and the volunteering team’s ideas to life. Building and launching WHEN’s pioneering 100 Black Women Professors NOW project (100BWPN) has been the meatiest challenge to breathe life into. 100BWPN is a phenomenal initiative that is making change at an individual and systemic level. Its been such a privilege to work with all of the people that have fed into the design of this programme and to hear the stories of those who have experienced what we have built.

What are you most proud to date?

So many things. But if I had to pick one, it would be that I’ve played a part in building WHEN to a point we’ve been able grow and recruit a fantastic team to really propel us forward in 2023 and beyond.

What do you need from the WHEN community to support you to succeed?

Our team, volunteers and members are the heart of WHEN and a reflection of our values and the movement WHEN is creating. Keep talking about us and to us. We want to hear your experiences, ideas and needs so that we can keep building WHEN together.

connect with Nicola on LinkedIn 

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