The chairwoman of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in the UK has temporarily stepped aside after a report claimed she bullied staff and made derogatory and racist remarks.
Lady Barbara Judge, 71, is facing 41 allegations against her, it is believed.
The senior businesswoman told The Times she had "voluntarily decided to step aside temporarily from my role as chair and contest these allegations and the flawed process conducted so far".
It is understood that the report, commissioned by Dame Joan Stringer, found that Lady Barbara had bullied staff and made racist comments.
Hill Dickinson lawyer Caroline Prosser, who compiled the final report, told the Press Association that it had been handed to the IoD.
An IoD spokesman said: "Our human resources department was made aware of a number of allegations from staff members concerning the conduct of non-executive members of our board.
"Senior Independent Council Member Dame Joan Stringer commissioned a full investigation into the allegations which was carried out by independent experts from the Hill Dickinson law firm.
"Their detailed report and findings will be discussed by members of the IoD Council on Thursday afternoon."
After a long career in law and banking, Lady Judge became the IoD's first female chair in 2015.