Inclusion and Diversity

Firstport supports Black talent get on Board

We recently partnered with DataKirk on their Black Talent on Board Programme, offering Franklin Kalu, a member of the programme, a shadowing opportunity on the Firstport board to gain Board experience.


The Black Talent on Board Programme is a 12-week initiative designed by DataKirk to provide comprehensive Board training and placement opportunities for black talents interested in board roles, particularly within third-sector organisations.

The programme is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion on Boards in Scotland and empowering participants with the essential skills and knowledge needed for effective Board performance through training while also providing support to secure Board placement roles within Scotland.

The programme consists of two key components:

  • Board Training: Participants undergo intensive training in eight essential Board-related skills. Expert facilitators have been carefully selected to deliver each module, ensuring a high-quality learning experience.
  • Board Placement: After completing the training, participants are actively supported in securing board positions within networks of organisations. The placement process is adaptable, with some organisations offering in-person roles while others utilising a hybrid approach, depending on their specific board requirements.

The programme aims to:

  • Foster greater diversity and inclusion on organisational boards, particularly within the third sector in Scotland.
  • Develop Board-ready talents by equipping them with the essential skills and knowledge required for effective Board membership.
  • Encourage black talents with transferable skills to give back to their communities by serving on boards and contributing to societal progress.
  • Enhance participants’ proficiency in corporate governance, risk management, leadership, and digital competencies.
  • Provide robust support for programme participants in securing board positions within a network of 10 organisations.
Franklin Kalu, a participant in the Black Talent on the Board program, offers insights into his experience shadowing Firstport's board.

Of his shadowing experience on the Firstport Board, Franklin Kalu said: 

“I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for the invaluable training and support DataKirk provided during the Black Talent on Board programme. I am thrilled to share that I have officially joined the Firstport board as a shadow Board member. After completing my placement, I am eagerly looking forward to the potential transition to a full-fledged board member role. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Fash Fasoro, DataKirk CEO also shared his thoughts:

“At DataKirk, we believe in the power of collaboration. Working alongside Firstport in our Black Talent on Board programme to prepare leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds for board roles has been a rewarding experience, and we are eager to see the partnership relationship continue and pave the way for future collaboration.”

Gael Drummond, Firstport CEO also shared her thoughts:

“The Firstport board are delighted to collaborate with DataKirk and provide a leader from their Black Talent on Board programme with the opportunity to build their practical experiences of being on a board. Ensuring diversity of board compositions, experiences, and perspectives is vital for us, as should be for all organisations. Programmes like the Black Talent on Board are a meaningful way in which organisations like ourselves can ensure we are fit for purpose and reflect and represent the interests of the communities we serve.”

So far, 25 people have enrolled for the training, 14 of whom have received a direct board role or placement.  

Find out more about the programme and follow DataKirk on Facebook, LinkedIn, X (Twitter) and YouTube.