Our boards and committees event for aspiring younger directors in Melbourne this week was a roaring success. A big thank you to hosts, Mercer, and the two panellists, Jenny Taing and Michelle Di-Fabio, who provided some great advice for the audience, many of whom had not considered boards or committees this early in their career.
This is often because people think about boards in the context of the large listed corporates (ASX) or partnerships that they work for or provide services / advice to. WOB has always reminded people that there are many, many organisations outside this very narrow circle, particular in the Government and Not-For-Profit spheres, who would welcome women at earlier stages in their careers. The NFP sector in particular is huge, covering organisations across diverse areas - the arts, sport, health, social assistance, education, religion, professional bodies - and many others. Many of these organisations are well funded and run very sound operations. They are always on the look out for skilled, qualified and independent directors - whatever their career age and stage. Similarly Government boards come in many shapes and sizes - from smaller committees to statutory bodies - so opportunities for everyone.
So where should you start to look and pitch yourself? There was some good take-away advice from the event that I that I thought I would share with you briefly today:
- Connect with your industry / professional body and be active on conference and other committees
- Network with your university alumni as there are often opportunities on offer
- Use your techncial expertise via sub-committees as a platform to get to the boardroom
- Once established, tell your employer that boards and committees are going to be part of your continiuing career development and can align with their CSG goals
- Only do what you are passionate about and do well
Lots of women came away with more ideas of how their skillset and knowledge could add value in areas they had not previously considered. WOB is planning to do more for aspiring young directors in 2018.
Enjoy your weekend