Resources Centre

Articles to support your board journey

A selection of our latest articles to support your journey to and through the boardroom.

Build your board ready CV

Great resources to support you to build your board ready CV. 

Articles of Interest

Articles that come across our desk you may find interesting.

Culturally Diverse Women | Click to Register

For culturally diverse (non-Anglo) WOB members seeking leadership and board roles.

2020: Steady Progress Towards 40%

The percentage of women on boards has been rising slowly, but steadily, across the wide range of sectors reported in the biennial WOB Boardroom Gender Diversity Index.

Cultural Diversity on Boards

Women on Boards supports culturally diverse women to access board and leadership roles and has established a Cultural Diversity Working Group to progress action on this issue. 

COVID Learnings

Key Covid learnings and what we can do different post pandemic.

Boredom to boardroom: 10 ways to boost your board career in lockdown

COVID restrictions have put more than half of Australia's population under stay-at-home orders again, meaning it's back to working from home and Zoom meetings for many of us. But here are 10 ways to go from boredom to the boardroom and make the most of your lockdown.

Trust your gut: The role of intuition in the boardroom

Should we trust our gut when making boardroom decisions? ASX Non-Executive Director Cheryl Hayman looks at the role intuition plays in a director’s armoury and how it can be a powerful leadership tool.

40:40:20 Gender Balance

Women on Boards vision since 2006 has been: "To increase the number of women on boards and in leadership roles to achieve a gender balance of  40% women, 40% men and 20% of either, and/or other genders."

Articles from during the Pandemic - Governance Implications

For both businesses and government, governing during a pandemic requires acting quickly and cooperatively. Infectious disease outbreaks like Coronavirus COVID-19 primarily impact organisations in terms of operations and people. If you are a Non Executive Director it's important that you are across the issues and know how they will impact your organisation. We've collated reference material that you might find valuable to help determine the necessary steps to mitigate risk in your organisation.

CV Services

Stuck trying to do it on your own? Access WOBs expert CV services.

For Newcomers to boards

Great selection of tried and tested articles for those new to the board arena. 

All Reports

Key reports collated by Women on Boards since inception with the express intention of providing insightful resources for you during your career leadership and boardroom years.

Government | Click to Register

Thousands of State and Federal Government Board and Committee roles are on offer every year - many via WOB. They are suited to the first time and more experienced directors.

2018: WOB calls for 40:40 by 2020

Of the 15 sectors analysed only some state governments, the Federal Government, Not For Profits, Affordable Housing, some health boards and University boards made the 40% grade. WOB has advocated for a minimum of 40% of the under-represented gender to the target for all boards for at least 10 years. With the support of the mighty WOB network it has put thousands of women on boards

2016: Women on Boards celebrates years of hard work

WOB celebrated 10 years of hard work in 2016 with the numbers of women on serving on boards continuing its slow trend upward across most sectors.

Bain and Company Reports

Bain and Company have written numerous articles pertaining to gender parity. WOB have collated some of these for your review.

Gender lens on the budget

WOB sponsors the independent review of the Federal Budget completed each year by the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) and its 36 subject matter experts. This non-partisan Gender Budget Review (GBR) of the Federal Budget makes recommendations across a range of policy areas – workplace relations, health, education, housing, domestic violence, taxation, superannuation and more, as well as some related to machinery of government and data collection. The 2021 Review has criticised the Federal Government for not laying out a clear program of reform. Click here for all the details.

WOB Dashboard - What's it all about?

We appreciate not everyone might have a driving licence when it comes to a dashboard, so here are a few road rules for you all.

 

Listed Companies & Pre-IPO | Click to Register

For those with an interest in board roles in the listed, pre IPO and private company sectors.

Personal director insurance

Personal insurance for individuals serving as a company director or officeholder.

Securing your AGM outcomes: A how-to guide for Directors

In preparation for Annual General Meetings (AGMs) many Boards do as they have always done; publish their Notice of Meeting, meet with their largest investors and wait for the votes to flow. However, best practice has moved beyond this passive, routine approach allowing boards to truly understand the sentiment of their register and be prepared to act when necessary. Below are four key strategies to help you secure successful AGM outcomes.

Engaging and managing your workforce

The 2020's were predicted to the decade of remote working. Three months into the new decade and the world has surpassed all milestones. What does remote working look like? Will the end of COVID-19 leave us gasping to get back to the office?

How are you coping?

Since WWII there has never been an occasion where the phrase "We are all in this together" resounds more appropriately. While the reputable news outlets and our Governments are doing a fine job of keeping us up to date on the stats & facts, there is a very human side to Coronavirus COVID-19 being expressed every day on social media and in blogs, columns and comment pieces. WOB invites thoughtful comments, stories and experiences to share on our website. 

New Guide to Navigating Virtual AGMs, e-document execution and e-shareholder communications

To help organisations navigate the ongoing uncertainty around holding AGMs and executing electronic documents, a new guide has been released as a joint initiative between four key stakeholder groups.

Catalyst Reports

Catalyst is a global nonprofit working with some of the world's most powerful CEOs and leading companies to build workplaces that work for women.
Catalyst helps organisations remove barriers and drive change with pioneering research, some of which WOB has provide for your review.

Articles & information

High quality resources for women navigating their way to the boardroom.

Sport | Click to Register

Sporting organisations exist from community to national level and span club sports in all desciplines and the 100+ National Sporting Organisations of which most are funded by the Australian Government.

2015:  All except Government trending to greater gender balance

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

Paid Parental Leave

Women on Boards was part of the coalition of women that lobbied for universal Paid Parental Leave, which was introduced at 18 weeks paid at the national minimum wage on 1 January 2011. It defended the scheme against proposed changes under the Abbott Government in 2015 and in 2017 put forward a hybird model to the Government, based on a model of 26 weeks PPL.

2013: Hope is not a business strategy’ for more women on boards

​The evidence is that sectors with measurable gender balance targets are moving ahead of those that rely on good intentions and rhetoric alone.

Board evaluation

A free trial of a cost effective board evaluation service that provides you with great access to a wide range of governance tools.

Gender Balance in Global Sport

In 2014 Women on Boards authored the inaugural Gender Balance in Global Sport Report, which was subsequently updated in 2016.

Lord Davies Reports

Lord Davies of Abersoch, a former British banker and Labour government minister and currently a non-executive chair has written a number of reports regarding the FTSE and women on these boards in efforts to achieve female parity.

D&O Season: Pay close attention to the fine print

The D&O premium pool is now at a sustainable level according to most insurance companies (circa $800m) against reserves of circa $1.5b, but premiums will still rise again in 2021.

Thinking beyond COVID-19

In times of crisis our first responsibility as company directors is the health and safety of our workforce. COVID-19 will eventually be tamed. The question is are you prepared for the world after COVID-19?

Superannuation & Financial Services | Click to Register

For those with an interest in / suitable skillset for board and committee roles in the ever growing financial services sector (banks, mutuals, credit unions, insurance companies, superannuation). 

COVID Capers

There is no doubt that isolation and our new way of living and working due to Coronavirus has provided some lighter moments. We respectfully share the lighter side, fully acknowledging the seriousness of Cornavirus and those affected.

The Pace of Change and the Future Fit Board

In a technology-enabled transformative age, businesses have moved outside of traditional capabilities and continue to explore new business models and ways of working, including in the boardroom. To keep pace, boards need to reshape and reimagine their roles in order to ensure they are future-fit. But what are the critical trends and influences that are feeding this unprecedented pace of change (COVID notwithstanding) and what does a future-fit board look like?

Start-Ups & ESICs | Click to Register

For those with the appetite and skills to take on advisory entity or board roles in the world of Start-Ups and Early Stage Innovation Companies.

Committees and Coalitions

Women on Boards works with a range of organisations and informal groups to maximise its contribution to policy development.

McKinsey Women Matter Report Series & Others

McKinsey has conducted research to gain greater parity within corporations and presented their findings through reports such as their Women Matter series.







 

2012: Small increase in percentage of women on boards

There have been small, but encouraging, signs that the recent gains in the number of female directors on the boards of ASX200 companies are being matched in other key sectors in the economy, according to findings from the latest WOB Boardroom Diversity Index (BDI).

2011: 100th International Women's Day: Women still marking time in the boardroom

Australian boards are not becoming more gender diverse and we run the risk of sidelining this critical issue in the hype surrounding the ASX200, a leading advocate and broker for women into board roles warned today.

Brilliant board papers for effective decision-making and good governance

Good board papers ensure your key decision-makers have well-written, relevant, and accurate information to support their decision-making.  This practical guide will equip you and your organisation with the knowledge and skills to improve your organisation’s board papers. We have included guidelines for board paper preparation, a how-to guide to developing an internal board papers process policy, and a sample board paper.

General Information

Coronavirus COVID-19 is impacting all of our lives, our communities, our governments and our organisations. Thousands of decisions are being made daily - mostly on the run in an ever changing situation. Decisions made today will be wrong tomorrow. Impacts will be severe - even catastrophic. Its important to be informed.

What to expect when you join a board?

Joining a board can be a daunting experience. Aside from the fact you are now part of the governing body for a company / organisation with attendant governance responsibilities, there are a myriad of basic things to tick off your To Do list.

2010: A benchmark for gender diversity on boards

Australia’s first comprehensive index to track the performance of key sectors in our economy on gender diversity in the boardroom was released on International Women's Day, 8 March 2010.

Governance News - Interview with Professor Ngaire Woods

Professor Ngaire Woods CBE, founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University discusses how governments can build back with business and not-for-profits after the crisis of 2020.

Shareholders - Enrol your toenails!

In this article, WOB Chair, Ruth Medd, gives a new take on the responsibilities of shareholders in enabling the success of new companies. In this instance in the highly charged world of biotech which, with the COVID pandemic threatening our world, can be seen as critical to our future.

Do I recruit an advisory board or add independents to my board?

You and a colleague start a business. You decide the business would benefit from some additional insights, external governance and access to networks. Where do you start?

Director liability for environmental offences

Did you know that directors and managers can be liable for environmental offences committed by a corporation?
There are strong policy reasons for holding directors liable for environmental offences by corporations. And it is not enough to simply leave compliance with environmental laws to others – directors and managers need to take an active role.

The Seaweed Saga

Ruth reviews an article about FutureFeed, an organisation that has been licensed to distribute a new seaweed that farmers hope will produce the world’s first commercial-size crops of asparagopsis.

To Pay or not to pay – That may be the question?

Should directors of NFP’s be remunerated?  I have been an advocate for directors of Not For Profit companies that run a business to be remunerated for some time. So, what are the pros and cons?

The Art of Minute Taking

Effective minute taking is an art form that takes experience to master – but when done skilfully, it can make all the difference.  In this article, we examine the legal requirements that apply to board minutes, discuss various minute recording practices, and provide tips to assist boards in ensuring their minutes are effective, compliant and appropriate for their circumstances.

Director tax liability increases

Under the director penalty regime (DPR) company directors are now liable for all of a company's PAYG liability, GST, luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax liabilities and SGC liabilities.  

Coffee shop commerce – Ruth’s Travels

With COVID restrictions being lifted in NSW, last week WOB Chair Ruth Medd made the pilgrimage to Cairns and Mission Beach for the first time since December 2019.  She said it was very pleasing to see venues complying with COVID safety regimes.  Read on for a run-down of her coffee shop meeting and catch ups.

Five Important Qualities for Successful Boards

As a corporate and commercial partner at law firm Holding Redlich and a member of three boards - Infrastructure Association of Queensland, Professional Engineers Queensland and Redkite, Suzy Cairney has learned a thing or two about boards.  Here she discusses the five key qualities that she deems important for successful board members to have.

Director Insights

Experienced Non-Executive Director, Cheryl Hayman ponders the difference between Good versus Great Leaders.

Industrial Manslaughter and Director Liability

With Queensland’s first industrial manslaughter prosecution imposing a $3 million fine and suspended jail sentence for the company's two directors, this case serves as a a significant milestone for work health and safety laws in Australia and a benchmark for future prosecutions. 

Queensland, Victoria, ACT and NT have now introduced industrial manslaughter, with directors facing potential fines and jail. Western Australia's legalisation has been passed and is awaiting proclamation.  NSW and SA are yet to introduce industrial manslaughter.  Read more....

Ruth's Review - Director Trends and Posting Tips

In this article Ruth explores current trends board recruitment trends as we progress through COVID, shares our most popular vacancies and provides some tips to consider when posting a vacancy.

The Accidental Advisory Board Member

In this article Ruth explains how a telephone survey resulted in her joining an Advisory Board and reviews three online and board management products - timely given COVID-19 necessitates boards to operate "virtually". 

The High Court determines who is an “officer” under the Corporations Act

Susan Goodman, Partner at Holding Redlich, and Melissa de Jongh, Associate consider the factors which the High Court indicated are relevant to determining whether a person is an “officer” under the Corporations Act. 

There's no prescriptive pathway to the boardroom

WOB was delighted to have Michelle McLean as our keynote at a Boardroom lunch in Melbourne. Michelle is a portfolio director with three current directorships at the CFA (Deputy Chair), East Gippsland Water and FrontierSI.  A key message from Michelle was that there is no one pathway to the boardroom. Rather it’s a series of sometime serendipitous steps, but more usually, some planning and, as her story also demonstrated, a great deal of persistence. 

Advice to my younger NED self

It was a big decision for Liz Savage to step out of her executive career in the airline business and into life as a Non-Executive Director. The former Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Australia has capitalised on her experience in disruptive customer-intensive businesses to build an exciting & varied portfolio of Board roles. Liz’s NED roles to date include at Auckland Airport, Intrepid Travel, Brisbane Marketing, Mantra Hotels and Triathlon Australia.

Director Accountability

Directors are facing unprecedented scrutiny following many high profile cases that were uncovered by the
Hayne Royal Commission, AUSTRAC, the media or were self reported. Many executives have either resigned,  been terminated or have had their pay cut as a result.

Plan for the Unexpected

Unexpected events can hit your organisation at any time without warning. A crisis can negatively impact the entire organisation, its stakeholders and can cause long term reputational and financial damage.

Warren Buffets' Annual Shareholder Letter

In his annual shareholder letter, Warren Buffet explains his view on the problems with Corporate Boards today.

Are you ready for ESG and Climate Risk?

Insufficient attention is being paid to environmental social governance (ESG) and climate risk, despite the strong likelihood that it will impact business in the future, according to findings from a recent WOB survey.

Executive remuneration and building investor trust

Executive remuneration was front of mind for investors in the last AGM season, and there’s no doubt it will continue to be of paramount importance again this year. In this whitepaper, Computershare unpacks some of the central themes examined by key stakeholders including listed companies and remuneration advisors, to help guide thinking and provide ways to effectively manage this contentious topic this AGM season.

Board Minutes: The ‘ounce of intrinsic merit or demerit’

The recently released ‘Joint statement on boards minutes’ by The Governance Institute and Australian Institute of Company Directors is a must read for all current and aspiring board members.

Based on TGI and AICD member feedback and a legal opinion from WOB member, Dominque Hogan-Doran SC, and Douglas Gration, the statement contains an excellent overview of the key principles of board minutes and what are essentially best practice recommendations.

The legal opinion is appended at the end of the document and contains references to major cases where the court reaffirmed the minutes as a true and accurate record of board decisions.

The Accidental Chair - An Alternate Board Pathway

While bike riding through Europe, WOB Chair Ruth Medd had some time to reflect on her own recent Board pathway. In this article she reflects on the powers of serendipity and being open to opportunties and provides her insights on getting on board early stage companies, whether investing is a sound mechanism to obtain a board or even a Chair’s role and how her love of chocolate led her to accidentally became Chair of Charley's Chocolates.