‘We need to talk about how to change’: Institute of Directors boss reveals she is autistic

Charlotte Valeur only found out she had the condition five years ago, but the bullying she endured will be sadly familiar to many of those with it, writes James Moore

Tuesday 14 July 2020 00:18 BST
Charlotte Valeur, chair of the Institute of Directors
Charlotte Valeur, chair of the Institute of Directors

It’s a bit scary,” says Charlotte Valeur, the chair of the Institute of Directors who is today speaking publicly for the first time about her autism. “I have for some years wanted to serve as a director of a FTSE 100 company but even now at 56 I’m afraid there may be some board positions I will not get as a result of this.”

That statement is a good example of why attitudes towards autism in Britain are in need of radical change. Because I fear she might be right.

The fact that Valeur isn’t on a FTSE 100 board now rather puts into perspective the whines one sometimes hears from its constituent companies about the difficulty in finding female candidates for their boards. The situation has improved: all male boards are now a no-no. But the fact that progress has been glacially show is not as much about a lack of suitable candidates as corporate spinmeisters would have you believe.

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