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.
Key Covid learnings and what we can do different post pandemic.
We all need access to good resources in our professional lives. This section of our Resource Centre is designed for those of you who are still active in your chosen career and interested in learning about what goes on in the boardroom - and why you should be thinking about board and committee roles sooner rather than later.
The First 90 Days
So you’ve got a new board role. Now what? To make sure your first 90 days in your new board role are a success, here are some tips from WOB UK members on what to do first, from practicalities to starting to get a feel for the board dynamics.
Books to inspire you on your Board and leadership journey
Craving books not chocolate this Easter? Then forget eggs and hot cross buns. Here are some great new reads to fuel your mind and get stuck into over the Easter break, from leadership tips to the history of CWA NSW and Wendy McCarthy's inspiring memoir.
Workplace Gender Equality
Women on Boards has been involved actively in reforms around workplace gender equality since 2005. Our most recent submission to the Government review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act (2021) has called for organisations to report on disability and cultural diversity within the workforce to improve participation and access to leadership and board roles.
Stakeholder engagement in the ESG process
By BDO’s Ashley Bleeker, Director, Corporate Reporting
Every organisation has a myriad of stakeholders that influence the way it operates. When it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts, it’s important to optimise stakeholder engagement throughout the process to identify high-priority and high-impact areas to focus on.
Focus on Leadership: Small actions pack a big impact
A graduate of Women on Board’s Next Generation of Female Leaders program in 2016, Fiona Lawrie recently stepped into a new role as Senior Sourcing and Quality Strategy Manager for Officeworks after seven years as Sustainability and Aboriginal Affairs Manager with Wesfarmers. Here she talks about the importance of developing ‘soft skills’, identifying your weaknesses and how small actions can have a big impact.
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.
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
Bain and Company Reports
Bain and Company have written numerous articles pertaining to gender parity. WOB have collated some of these for your review.
Stuck trying to do it on your own? Access WOBs expert CV services.
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?
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."
What makes a good leader - and how to be one
Leading by example: Non-Executive Director, WOB mentor and executive leadership consultant, Sheena Wilson is one of the presenters of WOB’s Women in Leadership program. Here she shares her tips on what makes a good leader.
WOBTime, resilience and networking are the keys to success
Having worked at Women on Boards for more than three years, I have been fortunate to hear the triumphs and tribulations of many of our members. What I have deduced time and time again, is that success doesn't happy by fluke. It’s down to sheer hard work and resilience. There are three consistent themes that resonate with every success story I hear.
WOB women: Wise words and leadership lessons
If you’re in need of a little New Year inspiration, encouragement and some friendly words of wisdom to give you a kick-start on your board and leadership journey, who better to hear from than women in the amazing WOB network?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
New Year, new Board? 7 resolutions you CAN keep
For many of us, 2022 could not have come around fast enough. And while ringing in the New Year is often a time we scribble down long lists of goals that we hope (but rarely do) to tick off over the next 12 months, it pays to make your New Year resolutions realistic so don’t set yourself up for failure.
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.
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).
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.
Committees and Coalitions
Women on Boards works with a range of organisations and informal groups to maximise its contribution to policy development.
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.
Applying a framework to ESG reporting
By Aletta Boshoff, Partner; National Leader – IFRS, Corporate Reporting & Sustainability, BD
In today’s business climate, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are increasingly important as organisations face mounting pressure to demonstrate greater commitment to values that reflect the contemporary demands of people and the planet.
ASIC's key areas of focus for 2022: Is your corporate governance up to scratch?
By Charis Chan, Jake Giordano, Danielle Crowe, Mariam Azzo and Samy Mansour, Clayton Utz.
In a recent speech, ASIC Chair Joe Longo has reminded directors to be actively focused on identifying, assessing and mitigating risk, emphasising that companies need to prioritise their corporate governance in light of current market conditions.
Director Remuneration Guide
Ruth Medd, December 2021
Women on Boards is often asked whether you can you make a living out of directorship. As with most things about directorship, the answer is not simple. So what remuneration can you expect as a director?
Five characteristics every board member needs
In the last decade, the role of a non-executive director (NED) has fundamentally evolved. In this article Women on Boards UK CEO Fiona Hathorn explains the five characteristics good board members need (that you won't find on the job specs).
Key steps to getting your ESG right
By Stephanie Daveson, Shae Mccartney and Kathryn Pacey, Clayton Utz
Fundamentally, ESG is about doing business responsibly. It is about having the trust of your stakeholders. It is about businesses acting in a way that is "right" – doing only what achieves legal compliance is no longer enough.
Are you ready for Director IDs?
While our thoughts have been dominated by the immediate task of managing during a pandemic, there is another important issue bubbling just below the surface that is about to demand your attention: Director IDs. This article from The Governance Institute explains what you need to know about Director IDs.
From little things big things grow
Like many Non Executive Director’s (NEDs), one of Mary Sue Rogers first boards was a Not for Profit (NFP). Read how passion for a cause drove her board career.
Director Equity and Best Practice Remuneration
Ensuring remuneration structures that reflect shareholder outcomes while incentivising executive and board performance is a complex balancing act. Computershare provides practical tips for leadership remuneration and looks at the concept of Director equity and "having skin in the game".
Driving Transformative Growth
In this article successul ASX Non Executive Director Cheryl Hayman, FAICD explores the reasons why marketing executives and creative, non-traditional and innovative thinkers make great directors, with a lens on the key deliverables they bring to the boardroom.
The seven reasons why being a director is good for your career
By Claire Braund, Founder Women on Boards
Adding a board appointment or directorship to your CV is a sure way of drawing attention and validating your capabilities whilst catapulting your career up the ladder of success. There are many benefits to be gained from this career portfolio strategy.
Psychological safety: What is it and why is it so important?
Prioritising the management of psychosocial hazards to protect mental health at work is more important, now more than ever. One of the themes this National Safe Work Month is around how to create a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.
The Board's Role in ESG - is to listen to our customers
A board that is prepared to effectively manage and mitigate ESG risks will help the community and their organisation to develop differentiated and crucial customer outcomes and products and services focussed on the future as well as enhancing shareholder value, writes ASX Non-Executive Director Cheryl Hayman.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.