Claire is a senior lawyer who consults as Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of Immediation, is a non-executive director of CommsChoice Group (ASX:CCG), Marist180, My Property Circles, and the University of Technology Sydney Law Advisory Board, and a professional coach and mentor.
In addition, Claire is an honorary member of the NSW executive of the Australian Association of Corporate Counsel, an Entrepreneur Ambassador for Opportunity International, and a committee member of the New South Wales Law Society Futures Committee and the Resolution Institute. Claire is also a Foundation Speaker with The Prominenti Society Speakers Agency.
Claire has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading lawyers and female executives, including having been awarded the “Excellence Award for Women in Law”, “General Counsel of the Year”, “Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia & New Zealand”, “Mentor of the Year” and was featured in SmartCompany's International Women's Day Showcase.
Part and parcel with her passion for the law and advancing the interests of women, Claire is an active philanthropist and public speaker on issues of innovation, diversity and inclusion, psychological wellness, developing high performing teams and women’s leadership. Claire is also a mentor for 7 x World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley AO's "Aim for the Stars" Foundation.
What boards and committees do you currently sit on?
CommsChoice Group (ASX:CCG), Marist 180, My Property Circles and the UTS Law School Advisory board.
When and why did you decide to pursue boards?
I started my non-executive journey in 2014 after completing the GAICD. Later that same year I joined the board of Luna Park Sydney and Marist 180. Luna Park came about at the encouragement of my executive manager at the time as he sponsored me to take over his NED role. Whereas my Marist 180 journey actually began during the GAICD course, as the CEO was a fellow graduate. I decided to move into the boardroom in a NED capacity as it offered an opportunity for me to be more involved in strategy, performance and risk, unrelated to the intimacy of day to day operations.
What challenges and hurdles have you had to overcome in pursuing board roles and serving on boards?
Having had over 25 years’ expertise in business and not-for-profit leadership, both locally and internationally, had held me in good stead to see the bigger picture and understand where value can be added. There can often be a perception that NEDs with a legal background offer little other than a legal voice, which is a stereotype I go out of my way to dispel.
Have you had mentors and/or sponsors and have they helped you? if so, how?
I have had 3 mentors and sponsors during my executive career, and 2 during my non-executive career. They were all relationships that grew organically and over a number of years and were based on mutual respect and trust. All these relationships have opened doors for me and provided a confidential sounding board.
How did WOB help you in your journey to the boardroom?
Two of my roles have come directly from WOB. I see them as having their finger on the pulse when it comes to being at the forefront of the NED market.
Any tips for women starting out their journey to the boardroom?
Understanding how to read and interpret a balance sheet, and being alive to changes in market and corporate governance standards is critical. You need to be able to add value and understand that you are not there to be an executive. Diversity of thought, appreciating the skills that your fellow NEDs bring to the table and being alive to the risk of groupthink should all be top of mind.