IOD PARC as an Employee-Owned Trust

In 2020, IOD PARC was at an organisational crossroads. We wanted to grow our business while retaining all the positive aspects of a small, collaborative organisation. Reflecting on how we could make this a reality led us to become an employee-owned trust – a model that allowed us to empower our staff and ensure the sustainability of our business. 

Being an employee-owned trust (EOT) means that the majority of shares in IOD PARC are held in trust on behalf of our employees. How organisations choose to do Employee Ownership can differ, but for us, this has meant that every eligible employee (in our case, after they’ve been with us for 12 months) has a stake in the company through the trust, and is part of a workplace that aims to be inclusive and work to the benefit of its staff as shareholders.   

In practice, we’ve created an EOT Board that represents the long-term interests of the whole staff group and holds our Trading Board (the group directly responsible for the company’s business strategy) accountable for their decisions, provides views on anything that affects the entire company, and ensures that they consider employee interests.  

The EOT Board is made up of four Directors: 

  • Two elected Employee Directors who serve a two-year term and represent the interest of the staff group; they are currently Naomi Blight (Chair) and Ima Bishop.
  • A Founder Director, Mark Keen, who represents our previous majority shareholders. 
  • An Independent Director, Emily Alston, who provides oversight as an experienced EOT director without any further involvement in the organisation.  

Being an EOT is a fantastic opportunity for IOD PARC and allows us to work in the interest of current and future staff, in a way that’s consistent with our organisational values. We are relatively early on in this journey and there has been a lot to learn, but we hope to continue to embed a culture of employee ownership within our next business strategy and onwards.  – Naomi Blight 

We are only at the beginning of our journey as an EOT. We’ve been learning how it works for us and will continue to do so as our organisation grows, and our practices evolve. We’re about to enter a new strategy period; of which our active culture and practice of employee ownership is an important pillar, and we’re excited about what this means in reality.

If you’d like to find out more, you can contact us at: