Dame Sharon White Keynote Speaker

  • Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership (2020-25)
  • Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • Speaker on leadership at scale, managing complex organisations and change management

Dame Sharon White's Biography

Dame Sharon White was Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership (2020-25) and the first woman ever to be appointed to this position. Dame Sharon is an acknowledged business leader and an authoritative speaker on leadership at scale, managing complex organisations and change transformation in both the public and private sectors.

During her five-year term at the John Lewis Partnership, Dame Sharon led the Partnership through the pandemic and the worst of the cost of living crisis. Although this saw some challenging financial results for the Partnership during the time, Dame Sharon’s strategy to return the business to profitability succeeded, with the Partnership reporting a return to profit for the full year 2023/24. Furthermore, profits are expected to continue to grow as the Partnership looks ahead, with Dame Sharon’s leadership and expertise in delivering large scale, complex change transformation projects having paved the way.

Before joining the John Lewis Partnership, Dame Sharon served as Chief Executive for Ofcom (2015-19), the UK’s communications regulator. In this role, she managed the organisation through a significant period of change, in which the telecoms and broadcasting industries introduced greater focus on the promotion of fair competition, consumer protection, and innovation.

Prior to this, Dame Sharon was Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, responsible for overseeing the public finances. She also served as Director General at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development, as well as in an advisory role at the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. During her time living in the US, Dame Share worked first for the Foreign Office and then in Washington DC as a senior economist at the World Bank.

Through her tenure in a number of senior roles within government, regulation and business, Dame Sharon has developed a unique perspective on the UK, with a strong understanding of the wider global context. She has a keen interest in the UK economy and speaks confidently about the opportunities and risks it presents to businesses, helping them to navigate the ever-changing macroenvironment.

Dame Sharon was awarded a Damehood in the New Year’s Honours 2020 for her work at Ofcom. Most recently, in 2023, she was named as Britain’s most influential black person in the 2023 Powerlist.

Dame Sharon is a trained economist and studied at Cambridge University and University College London.

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Dame Sharon White's Speaking Topics

  • Leadership at scale

  • Managing complex organisations

  • Navigating purpose driven business

  • Change management and organisational transformation

  • Regulation and governance

  • Business and the UK economy

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Videos of Dame Sharon White

Amol Rajan interviews … Sharon White 2022
Amol Rajan interviews … Sharon White 2022
OTA Live | Google - Sir Charles Bowman in conversation with Dame Sharon White
OTA Live | Google - Sir Charles Bowman in conversation with Dame Sharon White
Enduring values; transforming business: speech to the Employee Ownership Association by Sharon White
Enduring values; transforming business: speech to the Employee Ownership Association by Sharon White
Dame Sharon White On Visibility & Making History | Season 2 Episode 8 Trailer | Fearless Podcast
Dame Sharon White On Visibility & Making History | Season 2 Episode 8 Trailer | Fearless Podcast

Articles, Media & Podcasts

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