Board of Directors

The Women’s Leadership Network is a Private Company Limited by Guarantee, and has two subscribers/Members – Activate Learning Group and Aylesbury College. Each Member is entitled under the Memorandum of Association to appoint one Director, and they are Sally Dicketts, Chief Executive of Activate Learning Group, and Karen Mitchell, Principal of Aylesbury College.


Sally Dicketts – Chair

Sally Dicketts has spent her whole working life in education. The first eight years were spent in schools, holding the posts of Head of Business Studies, Head of Careers and Head of Fifth Form. Subsequently, she has worked continuously in the Further Education sector, spending 4 years at Hackney College and then joining Milton Keynes College as Director of Curriculum and Learning Strategies. Sally progressed to become Director of Marketing and Development and then Principal and Chief Executive of the College between 1996- 2003.On 1 October 2003 she became Principal and Chief Executive of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.  Since September 2013 she has been group Chief Executive of Activate Learning.

Sally is a leading thinker for the National Education Trust, a member of the City & Guilds Learning and Assessment Policy Committee and an Association of Colleges’ board member, chairing its Employment Committee and Enterprise Portfolio Group. Sally was awarded a CBE for services to further education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2013.


Karen Mitchell – Director

Karen is the Principal and Chief Executive of Aylesbury College. Karen has a strong leadership and management background in FE holding a number of senior positions including Vice Principal and Director of Quality. Prior to her time in FE Karen worked as a nurse practitioner and manager for 17 years in the NHS.


Karen is a passionate supporter of inclusive vocational and academic education. Her focus is on leading an outstanding student experience which prepares students of all ages and abilities to realise their ambition and achieve long term success in work and life. She strongly believes that FE should be at the heart of the community, driving economic and social success.

Karen chairs the Local Strategic Partnership and is a Board member of the Bucks UTC and Connexions. She is also a Trustee for Youth Concern. Karen is a mentor and coach for aspiring leaders.

Management Team

The Directors have commissioned the services of the following people to run the organisation:

Pauline Odulinski – Managing Director

Kathryn James – Director of Operations

Sarah Schofield – Programme Co-ordinator / Company Secretary

This management team holds a monthly online meeting with the company directors.

WLN Advisory Board

The newly introduced Advisory Board is the strategic group, which will set the vision of the organisation, and oversee its development. Alongside the Board Directors and the Management Team, the Advisory Board is made up of members from within the education and skills sector, and also from the business sector, all of whom are keen to support the WLN’s agenda.

Currently, the membership is:

Nicky Buckland – Cobalt Partners
Gill Clipson – Association of Colleges
Sally Dicketts – WLN
Sarah Dovaston – Amersham and Wycombe College
Kathryn James – WLN
Julia von Klonowski – Consultant
Karen Mitchell – WLN
Pauline Odulinski – WLN