Wynne Bell

MME_Bell_Wynne.JPGWynne has actively supported boards and subcommittees across the not-for-profit sector. She has experience in advising board members on governance, operations and complex insolvency matters; and providing secretariat support to subcommittees. She is an experienced project leader both within and with the public and not-for-profit sectors. She has led teams to roll-out new models of primary health care on the ground. This included engagement of medical boards, professions and consumers; management of government funding; and health needs analysis. Wynne is excited by creative and evolving communities, business and networks. She is seeking a position on a progressive board - one that is competitive, relevant and responsive to the needs of the community.

What boards do you sit on?

I am currently serving as Company Secretary on Job Centre Australia (JCA).

When and why did you decide to become a director?

I decided to explore the opportunity to join a board around 2015. At that time I was working with community based not-for-profits and their boards to build good governance and business capacity. I saw the opportunity to join a board as a good way to learn and practice what I preached.

What are your short and medium-term board aspirations?

My short-term goal is to learn and gain as much experience from my current position on JCA. And move towards exploring a second position on a board or subcommittee by the end of 2019. In the medium-term I would like to be serving on at least two boards, with at least one position as a Director (executive or non-executive). This will be dependent on my other commitments i.e. life.

Outline your career background.

I am an experienced project leader in the public and not-for-profit sector. I have led teams to deliver national policy and service reforms at the local to state level. This has included engaging with various stakeholders (e.g. medical boards, industry, and customers), supporting service providers, managing government funding and preparing market analysis.

Touch on the challenges and hurdles that have presented themselves, either being on or getting onto a board, and how you overcame them?

My main challenge was overcoming my lack of confidence. Being a younger applicant (under the age of 40 years), I did not feel that I had the right or sufficient skills and/or experience. I set myself a realistic goal and started with small actions. Some of these included seeking advice from WOB executives, attending WOB start-up sessions and actively looking for opportunities. I also kept ‘evolving’ as I learnt more e.g. updating my CV and pitch to target boards.

Are there any directors/leaders you look up to? Why?

Dr Nicky Howe and Alicia Curtis (Google them!). They are two amazing female leaders based in Perth, Western Australia. They are the masterminds behind an award-winning board governance program for young aspiring directors, the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program. They both possess great zeal, brains and emotional intelligence to build better humans, boards and ultimately, businesses.

Have you had mentors and sponsors and how have they helped you in your career?

Yes, I have a number of close advisors. They are a group of strong women, who know my career journey and my professional strengths (and weaknesses). They provide objective and grounded advice for my career direction. And are not afraid to tell me the truth when it’s needed.

What’s the diversity (gender & other) like on your boards?

The current board that I serve on is doing well in gender (~40% female) and geographic diversity. We can improve in the areas of age, ethnicity and certain skills, expertise and experience. We will be undertaking a review of the board in the near future.

How did WOB help you in your journey to the boardroom?

The most useful WOB encounters that I had was with the two executives. Both Ruth and Claire are very generous with their advice and support, both directly and at scheduled WOB events/training. They helped to focus my search and the way that I pitch myself to potential boards.

Any tips for women starting out in their career?

Start now. Set small actions. It’s like a muscle. The more you use it, and push a bit more each time, the stronger you will get.
Happy to be contactable if you would like to know more.