Impact and Media

My bid for Central Coast Council

18 Aug 2017

Those of you who have attended a WOB event may have heard me describe myself as an advocate. Well it might be my biggest advocacy challenge yet if I am elected to Central Coast Council on 9th September.
 
Yes, I have decided to put my hand up at the first elections for our merged super council – formerly Wyong and Gosford - which is now the third largest in NSW. Needless to say, it will be a challenge – both to be elected and, if successful, to be one of 15 councillors in an area with 330,000 people

Director Remuneration across jurisdictions

18 Aug 2017

This week we have an interesting perspective on director remuneration, remunerating charity boards.

Ruth’s Review of 7 July 2017 canvassed why you might do this and what level of remuneration may be appropriate. But for a fuller exploration of the issues check out the ACNC report on Remuneration which also sets out some questions that a charity should consider when deciding whether or not to pay its board members; including:

World Wide WOB and the three MMMs

11 Aug 2017

When the plane trip from UK to Australia starts to drag I usually listen to the three tenors on the entertainment system. 

So, it was while enjoying the glorious sounds of Domingo, Carreras and Pavarotti on my recent return trip from the UK that turn my mind turned to WOB’s three MMM’s.  That is -  the Maldives, Malta and Mongolia. 

Leading from the emerging future

11 Aug 2017

A  demanding and highly experiential leadership program to challenge the way you build skills to collaborate, co-create and co-lead.  Sounds like something the embattled companies being featured daily in the news might like to consider. 

No rest for CPA

04 Aug 2017

Having returned from a successful four weeks with the colleagues at WOB UK your scribe is now back onto the thorny matter of CPA Australia.

Firstly and most importantly, all WOB members who are CPAs are encouraged to sign the spill petition (6,000 signatures are needed) to requisition an EGM to debate a board spill and other motions. Well done to Jen Dalitz and other diligent CPA members for getting this underway.

Three WOB members on board of Indigo Junction

04 Aug 2017

Three WA-based members of Women on Boards have been appointed to Indigo Junction, a crisis housing accommodation service in Perth.

Wonder woman is not based on a true story

04 Aug 2017

My topic this week is one that has caused great controversy of late in the media. It follows the explosive ABC reports by Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson alleging links between Christian faith, gender and family violence. Aired over two nights on ABC and followed up extensively in the media, the reports have caused churches across Australia further angst on top of the Pandora's box of opened by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Experts Advise You Seek Help

28 Jul 2017

WOB UK runs regular FTSE breakfasts for WOB members to hear from experienced directors and headhunters. Your scribe attended one recently where the guest speakers were Sue Kilsby, Chair of Shire PLC - a leading global biotechnology company focused on serving people with rare diseases - and Karin Barnick, partner at Korn Ferry.

Sue, an investment banker by profession, spoke engagingly about her FTSE career, which has seen her appointed as a Non-Executive Director to the boards of BBA Aviation PLC, Goldman Sachs International and Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. Great tips for those in the audience.

Karin then spoke about the head hunter scene in London which revealed that, as expected, the top headhunters in London take much the same approach as their Australian counterparts. She provided some interesting data on FTSE 350 boards.

When 'Independence' fuels dysfunction

28 Jul 2017

Alex Malley's ears might have been burning again this week if they were not already scorched off by the roasting he has received in relation to his tenure as CEO of CPA Australia. He was the exclusive case study of Peter Swan AO FSSA, Emeritus Professor the Unviersity of NSW Business School, in his address to a joint Women on Boards / Clayton Utz lunch helpfully titled "Cult of the CEO: CPA Australia and how its non-standards helps generate ASX governance dysfunction".

Gender Pay Gap in the UK

21 Jul 2017

In November 2014 the UK Office of National Statistics published a report revealing that in the year to April 2014, the gender pay gap for all employees stood at 19.1%, down from 19.8% in 2013. The gap has also decreased in the long-term, from 27.5% in 1997.  Despite the decrease in the pay gap, the rate of progress is widely-considered to be too slow. 

The ABC of time on a board

21 Jul 2017

This week I was a guest on Philip Clark's Nightlife program on ABC Radio. For 48 minutes Dr Alison Gaines, General Manager Asia Pacific at Gerard Daniels and Chairman of the Murdoch University Foundation, and I discussed the various responsibilities of boards, how they are constituted and the work involved.

What to pay a Not-for-Profit director

07 Jul 2017

WOB is regularly asked about director remuneration. Most often the question is what should a Not-for-Profit (NFP) pay its directors? This usually occurs as the board readies itself to pay their appointed members.   
 
Most Not-for-Profits do not remunerate their directors. However, those that are running a business with staff and resources are increasingly likely to do so.
 
There are a number of surveys done annually on this topic. Some are publicly available and others require payment. WOBs posted vacancies is a perfect regime for surveying remuneration trends. As such we have collected data over many years.  
 

Maximising Board Success

29 Jun 2017

Developing your board career is a matter of persistence and vigilance. You never know when your ideal opportunity will appear. WOB regularly does search assignments for companies seeking Non-Executive-Directors. Often these are paid roles on interesting boards, well suited to some WOB subscribers. 

WOB welcomes INSEAD

29 Jun 2017

Women on Boards is proud to be partnering with leading graduate school, INSEAD, to offer its International Director's Program to WOB subscribers. Offered the opportunity early in 2017, WOB Directors understood the immediate value this program would provide to those women seeking to upgrade their international governance qualification.
 

CPA celebrates EOFY with ‘Own Goals’

23 Jun 2017

No-one likes it when their team kicks its own goal. Indeed, journalists and commentators often engage in hot debate about which is the worst ‘own goal’ across the many sports codes. However, there is little doubt that as we approach the end of the financial year, that CPA Australia has taken the prize for the most own goals scored in the shortest period of time in corporate history. 
 

It’s a boy’s club – back off!

23 Jun 2017

This was the advice given by a team of senior men to a woman at a financial services firm who was trying to make some changes to the 'business as usual' approach her colleagues seemed to enjoy. Apparently change was not on the agenda. The anecdote was recounted to the 32 women taking part in the 2017 WOB Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders program in Sydney this week. Heads nodded.

Faith Based Boards

16 Jun 2017

A recent column commented on the rise of postings of faith based postings with WOB.
 
The Uniting Church (UC) has posted with WOB over many years. So WOB is delighted that the UC has begun a formal partnership with us to assist with their governance, leadership and diversity objectives. 

Beyond Gender

16 Jun 2017

The trend towards engaging men on gender equality might have more benefits that first realised. Over the past two years we have been moving to a new paradigm around men 'owning the problems of gender inequality' as highlighted in a timely new Diversity Council Australia report titled Men Make a Difference: Engaging Men on Gender Equality.

WOB members support CPA reform

09 Jun 2017

The trials and tribulations at CPA Australia continue apace, with fresh revelations today that this week the NSW Government is threatening to deregister it as a professional standards body. This is principally because the loss-making business championed by CEO Alex Malley, CPA Australia Advice, competes with the members of CPA Australia.

Coupled with the resignations of Kerry Ryan and Richard Alston from the board and the very public renouncing of membership by David Murray, it’s been a tough week.  

WOB not afraid to speak

02 Jun 2017

CPA Australia has released the individual director and CEO remuneration details; plus other information in response to membership questions. They have finally done the right thing by their members with regard to remuneration disclosure. 

Staying in Wonderland

02 Jun 2017

"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more." (The Matrix)

Was the film, The Red Pill, as controversial and anti-women as I had been led to expect?  

The Red Pill Beckons

26 May 2017

Tomorrow I am going to a screening of American documentary film by feminist, Cassie Jaye, that explores the men's rights movement.

Be Prepared for Your Marketplace

26 May 2017

Last week’s item on the ASX company for which WOB is doing a board search was the subject of a lot of attention. It certainly kept my inbox full!
 
For some WOBers it was a case of putting their hat into the ring for the role, despite the realisation they had little chance of success. This is not a bad thing. It was heartening to us that the ASX position inspired them to action.

Recruiting for ASX

19 May 2017

The types of vacancies posted with WOB vary widely across organisations and sectors. Increasingly ASX companies are coming our way as they realise WOB offers a unique database of aspirant (and often not well known) women with the skills and experience to fill board roles. This is good news for WOB subscribers seeking an initial or their next ASX board. 

Brave new world

19 May 2017

Robots joining unions, data for sale on the dark net, skewed algorithms for NDIS avatars ... we discussed it all at the WOB Director's Circle in Sydney on 18 May ... and more besides.

Budget brickbats and bouquets

12 May 2017

Australia has not had a Women's Budget Statement since it was dropped in 2014 by then Prime Minister and Minister for Women, Tony Abbott. While many felt it was insufficiently resourced the principal around the statement was important. 

Why do we need a women's budget statement? Surely the budget impacts equally on men as well as women?
 

Live from Canberra

12 May 2017

Budget week in Canberra is fun – if hectic.
 
Your scribe was at Parliament House on budget night to listen to the Treasurer's budget speech. This was followed by the NFAW Gender Lens conference call where the assembled experts gave their first impressions of the impact of the budget on women.
 

The right thing to do

05 May 2017

Word on the street is that there are CPA members who are concerned about the governance of their respected body, but feel they cannot speak publicly.  Women on Boards has a history of calling out the laggards and will continue to do so. Your scribe is a CPA member of some 30+ years.

To quota or not to quota

05 May 2017

I have been asked about my stance on gender quotas many times. This week I was asked again on the back of comments made by former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, during his regular spot on 2GB on Monday (1 May 2017).

WOB: A great network

28 Apr 2017

Women on Boards is a global network of some 40,000+ women who largely work on the principle of reciprocity. We work to underpin this approach with a wide range of development offerings.
 

Making a Difference

28 Apr 2017

Today WOB attended the Lifeline Steel Magnolia Awards on the NSW Central Coast. Six finalists in an award that recognises a woman who overcame, who lifted herself up and who did something for others.

A matter of governance

21 Apr 2017

Not for Profit organisations range from small bodies or local service providers in areas such as disability and transport, to significant enterprises registered as unlisted companies limited by guarantee, such as CPA Australia (CPAA). 
 

Start-up for flexibility

21 Apr 2017

It is always useful to remind myself that Women on Boards was once a start-up. An idea that had its genesis back in 2001, tested the market until 2005 and formed in 2006. At the time Ruth and I founded WOB, I had an eight month old daugther, was working from our first (tiny) home on the Central Coast of NSW and thinking how, at 35 years of age, I might seek to make a difference for women.

What you know not what you do

07 Apr 2017

Some of you may have seen that the Minister for Communications has announced the demise of the Catalyst Australian Arts and Culture Fund.

‘The Government has announced that the majority of funds from Catalyst will be transferred to the Australia Council from 1 July 2017.’

First my declaration. Your scribe is an independent assessor for this program. And it’s a (tiny $) paid gig.

The background is that a previous Minister for the Arts carved out some funding for projects not typically funded by the Australia Council; the established federal government funding body for the arts.  

The Hay Times

07 Apr 2017

There is no doubt that being born of the land gives you a tenacity that stands you in good stead throughout your life. I was reminded of this again on two occasions this week; at the 2017 NSW Rural Women's Award gala dinner at Parliament House and, in an address I gave to the Sydney Hills Business Chamber.
 

Shining a light on boards for under 35s

31 Mar 2017

You may have noticed WOB has an ever-increasing number of board and committee positions available. As of 31 March 2017 there are 70 current vacancies. To date we have received 250 positions posted since 1 January 2017 - many with multiple positions available.

George unlikely to get #nakedforchange

31 Mar 2017

This week I noticed a few amusing news items come across my desk. BKindred founder, Penny Locaso, delivered a keynote presentation in a swimsuit, George Brandis told Parliament that being called a white man" was “deeply offensive and insulting" and a UK national newspaper asked readers whether the British or Scottish Prime Minister had better legs?

Quotas for Australian Honours

24 Mar 2017

Being awarded an Australian Honour is highly regarded and signals your contribution to your profession, industry or cause. As is the case on governing bodies, women are under-represented in the Australian Honours awarded on the occasions of Australia Day and Queen's Birthday. 

Women up in lights

24 Mar 2017

Do you think the move to include female pedestrian signals is a positive addition to the City of Melbourne?

BDI Strategy and Tactics

17 Mar 2017

International Women's Day is now behind us and we there are some items worthy of note.

  • Gear up Girls was a great success, organised by the very capable crew at Bicycle NSW, who as it happens are seeking a board member (ID4834). 
  • The winner of the 2017 TAP Gallery IWD art prize was Debbie Nankervis with her work titled Sister Cities. WOB previously sponsored this prize and I have taken this on personally.
  • The AFR BOSS article of 6th March 2017 which featured an interview with Ruth and Claire received many compliments. Thank you.

Dead men and the 'Daughters of Henry Wong'

10 Mar 2017

International Women’s Day is all about us as women. So make sure everyone notices.  Women on Boards has been doing its bit – Claire in the OzHarvest CEO Cookoff, Ruth taking part in the Gear up Girls bike ride and donating to the TAP Gallery IWD Art Prize.

We Are Women

10 Mar 2017

Had another coffee this week with my male friend - he from my previous article 'Coffee chats in the diverse, digital and dichotomous world of 2016' about International Women's Day. He told me that he listened to the radio until 12noon on Wednesday 8 March and then had to turn it off as it all 'became a bit much.' What became a bit much you may ask?

Safety First

02 Mar 2017

WOB believes that there is a board for everyone at all stages of your career journey. So don’t be hesitant in applying for a role. WOB is here to help!

Stop Fixing Women

02 Mar 2017

The title of Catherine Fox's latest book is meant to be as provocative as it reads. For too long we have focussed on blaming women rather than shifting the system.

  • A system built and designed by white anglo-saxon men to benefit white anglo saxon men.
  • A system that normalises white anglo-saxon male behaviours across government, business and society.
  • A system that says because we legislate for equality we will get equity.
​Catherine's new book looks at why the system needs to flex to accommodate differences between men and women and the way they work and lead. Rather than endlessly work on the women to adapt to and benefit from a system we had little hand in creating.

Gear up Girl 2017

24 Feb 2017

Yours truly was delighted to be invited to become an ambassador for the 2017 Gear up Girl, the annual community bike ride of Bicycle NSW and the Heart Foundation. 

‘The ride shows off some of Sydney’s most spectacular separated cycle ways. Starting at Sydney Olympic Park and finishing in a festival atmosphere at Cronulla Beach. With 20km, 40km and 60km options; there is a ride to suit you and all your friends.’

​A League of Extraordinary Women

24 Feb 2017

This week I was in Brisbane presenting one of our 'get to know WOB information evenings.' Another great crowd of professional, skilled and diverse women with so much to offer our organisations. Just like the women in Sydney and Melbourne last week - and so it goes, in every city, every year. 

More on Government Boards

17 Feb 2017

This column has previously canvassed the desirability of including a government board in your portfolio of career activities.

Take care not to legitimise bias

17 Feb 2017

The news today that the Law Council of Australia will roll out a program of unconscious bias training for barristers and law firms, raises more questions than it answers. Universally acclaimed as the new thing in training three or four years ago, there is little evidence to show this approach has reduced the outcome of biases in the workplace - for example, closing the gender pay gap or leading to a significant improvement in the number of women in top leadership roles.

Beyond Boards and CVs

10 Feb 2017

WOB is a movement for change. It has been this since the original idea was broached. We went where others did not tread. We are enthusiastically ‘on the job’ after 10 years.   

Women's rights - not as safe as we assume.

10 Feb 2017

We often assume that women's rights, like wine, will mature and improve over time. The truth is that both are influenced by many factors and require significant effort, commitment and financial investment to achieve and maintain.

Focus on Government Boards

03 Feb 2017

Women on Boards has a track record of working with Governments who are actively seeking to increase the representation of females on their boards and committees. We also lobby others who should be doing more - Western Australia comes to mind.

It's the little things that count

03 Feb 2017

It has been something of a rough start to the year. From the tragedy in Melbourne to Trump's executive orders on abortion, refugees and trade, it seems hard to make sense of the world we live in at the moment.

On the shoulders of others

09 Dec 2016

Occasional address by Claire Braund at the 121st Speech Day of the New England Girls’ School, Armidale NSW on 7th December 2016.

The Crocodile Times

09 Dec 2016

​Your scribe continues to visit hot climes. This past week it’s been Mission Beach, Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands.  All at 35 degrees but with little wind, unlike the biking expedition in South Australia in November.

Growing Number of Not For Profits Pay Directors

02 Dec 2016

The annual survey of the positions posted with Women on Boards 2016 has found that close to 20 per cent of the Not For Profit entities pay director fees
 
The survey of positions posted from 1 January until the end of November 2016, found that of the board vacancies posted on our website in the categories of Charity/NFP; Foundation / Trust and Sporting Body in 2016:

Leadership skills: Now and for the future

02 Dec 2016

We came to the end of our 'Leadership in Focus' series at WOB this week. The public interface of our highly successful Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders program, the series gives voice to the reports and presentations on leadership that each syndicate is required to produce.

Coffee chats in the diverse, digital and dichotomous world of 2016

25 Nov 2016

I have an interesting and ongoing conversation with a male friend of mine about older white men being increasingly marginalised by the rise of feminine power in Australia and the wider world. As all of our work at WOB is focussed on building the capacity of women to lead and affect change, it made me reflect on our purpose and if we need to talk about the elephants in the room. Men!

Action needed on world class dataset

18 Nov 2016

Australia has a first in class dataset on gendered workforce employment.  To give you a sense of the scale of this dataset, in 2016 more than 12,000 employers provided a gendered break down of their workforce of more than four million employees. That's a lot of numbers to be crunched by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) which this week released its third Gender Equality Scorecard

Pathway to success with WOB

18 Nov 2016

There are many pathways to the boardroom and some of them are longer and more circuitous than others. Few aspirant non-executive-directors (male or female) will leave a role and leap onto boards in short order. Many hedge their bets, starting earlier in their career by combining boards with executive roles or establishing a portfolio career of boards plus consultancy/advisory activities. 

US accepts a flawed man, but not a flawed woman

11 Nov 2016

The world's top job once again goes to a white anglo-saxon man. This time it also goes to a man who has a history of treating women like something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe. A man who has bragged about "grabbing women by the pussy" and said we should be "punished for having abortions."

The tough job of being a female CEO

04 Nov 2016

Are female CEOs and political leaders more likely to be handed a poisoned chalice and then their gender used to blame them when they fail?

An option for improving Australia's Paid Parental Leave scheme that doesn't attack 'double dippers'

28 Oct 2016

The Coalition Government is pushing legislation through the Senate to end "double dipping" by new mothers who receive paid maternity leave from their employers as well as from the government through the Paid Parental Leave scheme, with the changes to potentially take effect as early as January 2017.

The move has come up against significant public backlash, with the Opposition predicting around 80,000 new mothers could lose up to $12,000 in such payments every year, including thousands who are already pregnant.

Earlier this week Women's Agenda published a proposal WOB took to the Federal Government on paid parental leave in 2015. WOB believes it's a solution that's fairer across the long term and will ultimately provide more mothers with the 26 weeks paid leave that will help them bond with their babies and return to work. It also aims to give fathers and partners access to more paid leave, AND to achieve some of the significant savings needed.

Boardlinks needs better balance

29 Sep 2016

The Liberal Government has not covered itself in glory when it comes to promoting women into leadership roles and its latest efforts with regard to Government boards and committees are lacklustre to say the least.

Sportswomen win gold, but still paid in bronze

15 Sep 2016

An update on a report into the gender metrics in global sport has found the huge pay gap in many sports played by both men and women is not likely to close anytime soon. This is despite a concerted push by many global sportswomen to be rewarded equally to their male counterparts.

Download the 2016 Gender Balance in Global Sport Report

​Do we think men are really going to solve the Liberal problem? No evidence to date.

07 Sep 2016

The recently released 10 year plan to have 50 per cent female Liberal MPs by 2025 through "mentoring" via a Male Champions of Change initiative is a bit pie in the sky to say the least.It is also top down and very old school in its approach. 

WOB member and Google Executive appointed to board of ASX company

07 Sep 2016

Women on Boards is delighted to announce the appointment of innovation and digital transformation executive and Women on Boards member, Susan Wheeldon-Steele, to the board of ASX listed, Centuria Capital (CNI).

Parties close – but not on gender

21 Jun 2016

Analysis by Women on Boards shows that 45.3 per cent of the candidates standing for election for the ALP are female, compared with 28.6 per cent for the Coalition. The Greens are the most gender balanced on 50 per cent with the Xenophon Party at 33.3 per cent.
 

Be Prepared

17 Feb 2016

Weekly postings of board vacancies are tracking upwards as organisations emerge from the holiday period. To date, some 90 new boards and committees have been listed with WOB. Many of these offer multiple board seats. This week NSW government vacancies have returned. 

Women on Boards supports Xenophon bill for gender balance on Government boards

29 Jul 2015

Women on Boards has backed Senator Nick Xenophon's bill to mandate gender balance on Australian Government Boards and Committees.

All except Government trending to greater gender balance on boards

16 Mar 2015

In the 2015 edition of the Boardroom Diversity Index Women on Boards evaluated 1422 organisations from more than 10 sectors

Australian Government indicates it wants to wind back gender reporting

16 Jan 2015

A Department of Employment report into the summary of consultations for Workplace Gender Equality Reporting is a flawed document that misrepresents support for the initiative.

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