Liz Williams

Business has a powerful role to play as a force for good in society, and Liz is bringing alive corporate purpose in one of the UK's biggest companies, BT Group. She has a strong track record of strategic relationship management, and creating and leading change programmes.

A self-starter who thrives on a challenge, Liz can be relied on to cut through complexity to create and execute compelling programmes. With a background in regulatory and public affairs, she is accustomed to working across the C-suite and has proven ability creating, leading, and developing high performance teams.

Director Tech Literacy and Education Programmes, BT - August - Present

In 2015 BT announced a long term ambition to help the nation build a culture of tech literacy. Liz built and leads the strategy to realise this ambition on behalf of the Group CEO, reporting progress to the Operating Committee and Board CSR Committee. The programme aims to tackle the tech literacy paradox, moving the next generation from tech consumers to creators, and making tech literacy a new cornerstone of modern education. BT’s first target is to reach 5m kids by 2020.

The strategy is built on the principles of shared challenge, collaboration and learning out loud. Liz has led new stakeholder engagement models including an annual collaboration event at the BT Tower for leading players from tech, education, policy, business, and youth. Liz recruited and stood up the core programme team, and has spearheaded employee engagement strategies to enable people from across BT to connect and lean in to the challenge.

Primary school teachers play a crucial role in setting children’s attitudes and aspirations, hence this has been a strategic priority. At the end of 2016, the Barefoot Computing Project had reached over 900,000 young people and is now endorsed by the Governments of all four Nations. Tech literacy has been embedded into strategic partnerships, for example BT and Ben Ainsley Racing have launched a new digital education programme.

BT’s ambition is about a culture where all, not just those with science capital, can become tech literate. BT has partnered with Manchester Communications Academy to test the power of sport and popular culture to change perceptions on the role tech plays in our lives.

There is a further crunch point around the transition to work, when 'every job is a tech job' becomes reality. To date, over 1700 young people have joined BT work ready initiatives, and under Liz’s leadership BT has launched a new ground breaking partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to reach the most disengaged.

Chair, Good Things Foundation - December 2016 - Present

Good Things Foundation is a UK-based registered charity that is working towards a world where everyone benefits from digital. They are responsible for managing the Online Centres Network and the Learn My Way learning platform, and have helped more than 2 million people gain the skills they need to use computers and the internet more confidently. The charity was originally known as Online Centres Foundation before rebranding as Tinder Foundation in 2013. A further rebrand, to Good Things Foundation, took place in November 2016. A long standing member of the Board, Liz was delighted to be appointed Chair in 2016, succeeding Lord Jim Knight.

Programme Director, Sustainable Business, BT - April 2012 - August 2014

Responsible for BT Group’s charity strategy that aims to generate more than £1bn for good causes by 2020, advising the Chairman, Board and Operating Commitee on all matters relating to communities and directing worldwide implementation. Also public policy lead for BT Consumer and BT Business - two of BT’s biggest operating divisions.

Passionate about developing shared value strategies and programmes that deliver organisational and societal benefit. Inspired by the role responsible business strategies can play in employee motivation and engagement.

Key outcomes:

  • Scaled BT's award winning charity partnerships, including Comic Relief and Childline
  • Defined BT's 2020 improving lives goal to LRQA standard and built glide path to 2020, with goal over-performance of 136% in 13/14
  • Streamlined BT's strategy, launching BT's charity portfolio (www.bt.com/charityportfolio) and the BT Tower Dining Club.
  • Developed and launched BT Sport's charity "The Supporters Club" in partnership with Comic Relief
  • Directed BT's response to Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in November 2013, including deployment of BT's emergency response team in country and providing technical infrastructure to support the Disaster Emergency Committee response. Recognised by BT CEO for exceptional contribution.
  • Delivered step changed employee engagement with the charity strategy through fundraising and volunteering.