• Monday, May 16, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Shriti Vadera becomes first woman and first person of colour to chair Royal Shakespeare Company

Baroness Shriti Vadera

By: Pramod Thomas

SHRITI VADERA has become the first woman and the first person of colour to become the chair of Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

Vadera, a former banker and former chair of Santander UK, will assume the role in August, succeeding Nigel Hugill who steps down after 10 years, reported The Guardian.

She had spent a number of years at the Treasury and as a minister in Gordon Brown’s government.

When assumed the chair of Santander UK, Vadera became the first woman to run a major British bank. Her term ended last year and she recently became chair of Prudential.

“It was a ‘joy and honour’ to get the RSC job. I grew up in Uganda and India, in a traditional community where expectations of the development of girls were narrow and strict. I read and imagined Shakespeare before I saw it performed and it opened up a different world, giving me the courage to aspire to possibilities that transformed my life,” Vadera told The Guardian.

“As the RSC emerges from one of its most difficult years, responding to the global pandemic, I am excited to be supporting and championing the RSC as its new chair and to look to the future.”

Vadera and other candidates were interviewed by the RSC’s youth advisory board. They described their meeting with Vadera as ‘inspirational’, the newspaper report added.

Miranda Curtis, the RSC’s deputy chair who led the interview process, said: “In a highly competitive field, Shriti stood out for her professionalism and relevant experience, her profound passion for Shakespeare and the transformative power of theatre, her clarity of vision and understanding of the strategic challenges facing the RSC, and her personal warmth.”

According to the report, Vadera became known as ‘Gordon Brown’s representative on earth’ for her alliance with the prime minister. She was known for her abilities to get things done.

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