Bernadette Harkin: From quantum computing to ocean swimming


From quantum computing to ocean swimming, WOB members were given an insight into the world of ASX NED Bernadette Harkin at the first of Women on Boards’ 2022 Director Lunches in Sydney on 10 May. The Director Lunch followed on from the face-to-face Board Kick-starter workshop. Both events were held at Clayton-Utz in the Sydney CBD.


 Tech executive, Board member and ocean swimmer Bernadette shared her insights and stories of her board journey.  In October 2021 she became non-executive director with ASX-listed Archer Materials - Archer is an Australian semiconductor company that is developing a quantum micro-proecsing ship that functions at room temperature - which is seen as a game changer in the world of modern electronics. 

Before Christmas, Bernadette went through two capital raisings, the sale of Archers's mineral business, granting of a huge patent on top of becoming acquainted with the company and its team.

 (l-r) Bernadette Harkin, Claire Braund, Sara Fairhust, Christina Wu and Lyle Steffensen at the Director Lunch in Sydney.

Some of Bernadette's key pieces of advice to the lunch group were to use trusted sources for advice, do your due your due diligence and understand that you are invited to the board to bring value to the table so have a point of view. She also recommended people take opportunities offered on boards (such as taking part in board review) and on join committees to learn and grow - giving the example of how she joined the Bondi Icebergs Food and Beverage Committee which revamped the member offering around hospitality.

Claire Braund, Executive Director of Women on Boards, said the wise words from Bernadette on how she has embarked on her ASX board career, her appraoch to being digitally literate and the brief lessons in quantum processing made for some great lessons for all who attended the lunch.

"It was a thoughtful and insightful presentation which those attending thoroughly enjoyed. A big thank you as always to our long term partener Clayton Utz for making gatheringssuch as this one possible."

The lunches are an excellent opportunity to hear from a current director about challenges and learning from their board journey, their tips for aspiring directors and opportunities as well as other current topical issues in their sector.

Other Director Lunches coming up include our Melbourne lunch with Miriam Silva and Adelaide event with Kate Croser, both on 24 May.

For more events go to our EVENTS page. 

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