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.

COVID Learnings

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

2022: Greater gender balance across industries key to closing pay gap

Australia could reduce its gender pay gap by more than a third if all industries and occupations set and achieved a 40:40:20 gender diversity target. That’s according to the latest Gender Equity Insights report from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

Fostering Culturally Diverse Leadership in Organisations

What can we learn from leaders who have thrived and smashed the ‘bamboo ceiling’? Are there other factors holding organisational change back? These are questions WOB member, NED and former senior Big 4 partner Karen Loon asks in her book Fostering Culturally Diverse Leadership in Organisations

How to get your first board role

When should I start thinking about a board career? Which boards are right for me, and how do I go about applying for board roles? These are just some of the many questions we get asked frequently at Women on Boards. In this article we look at why directorship is a viable option, how to get your first board role and how WOB can help on your pathway to the boardroom.

Meet The Headhunters - Heidrick & Struggles

What are non-executive recruiters looking for in a board candidate? What do they want to know about you? And how does your ‘pitch’ really come across? Meet Guy Farrow & Annalie Davies from Heidrick & Struggles, who answer these and other questions. 

Set Up Strategy Execution Governance For Success

Take your strategy execution to the next level with the essential ingredient of project governance. This will cultivate accountability, engagement, and overall success, writes WOB member, strategy execution specialist and scaleup mentor, Lisa Carlin.

Unlocking ESG opportunities

As businesses come around to the external pressures to report on and improve their sustainability practices, savvy organisations are also seeing the many benefits of going beyond compliance and integrating sustainability into the foundations of their organisations.Here are key takeaways from the BDO Australia event 'Unlocking ESG Opportunities'.

Meet The Headhunters - Hattonneale

What are non-executive recruiters looking for in a board candidate? What do they want to know about you? And how does your ‘pitch’ really come across? Meet Anne Hatton and Jane Neale from Hattonneale who answer these and other questions. 

Map your own pathway to the boardroom with WOB

From Women on Boards’ new Legal Essentials for the Boardroom workshop to our sell-out Board Starter sessions and Build Your Board CV offerings, we have a range of resources to help you navigate your path to the boardroom.

Shirley Chowdhary: Leadership for the next decade

A workplace that is more inclusive, that truly embraces diversity of thought, background and experience, is the workplace of the future, explains diversity advocate and non-executive director Shirley Chowdhary.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Listed Companies & Pre-IPO | Click to Register

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

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

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?

From 'car-crash interview' to success: My board interview learnings

Following what Melbourne woman Kate Gaffney described as “a car crash of a board interview” the WOB member steered her next interview in the right direction - landing her a dream board role. Here Kate shares her board interview learnings and why you should never underestimate the importance of identifying, articulating and targeting your value proposition. 

What's the difference between a leader and a manager?

Are you a leader or a manager? And what exactly is the difference? In this article, WOB UK's Fiona Hathorn explains why understanding the differences - and similarities - really matters if you want to progress your career.

Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy

Are you feeling guilty about not publishing content and thinking that it’s the reason why you are not getting what you want out of LinkedIn?

Or maybe you have noticed that your LinkedIn posts aren’t reaching as many people as they once did, and you are racking your brain. Has LinkedIn changed? What have you done wrong?

Why financial understanding is critical for all directors

What can directors do to take a more active role in financial reporting discussions? This article by BDO examines actions boards can take to help facilitate active financial discussions and engage all directors regardless of expertise and outlines important considerations for boards and directors when it comes to financial reporting.

What mandatory sustainability reporting means for small businesses

Globally, momentum is building for mandatory sustainability reporting by larger entities. But small entities that do not lodge financial statements with ASIC are not necessarily off the hook, explains BDO Australia's Aletta Boshoff.

Meet The Headhunters

Meet Watermark Search International who shared a brief insight into their work and what they are seeing in the market currently.

Post-COVID career burnout? Be proactive and take advantage of the jobseekers market

Want to know the top behaviours to achieve career success? Two RMIT experts - Professor Joe Jiang and Dr Lena Wang - provide their top tips on how workers can take advantage of the job-seekers market and make a career change that is right for them. 

Everything you need to know about advisory boards

An advisory board is a structured, collaborative method for organisations to engage advisors and/or stakeholders. In this article by The Advisory Board Centre, find out what advisory boards do and what the difference is between an Advisory Board and Board of Directors.

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. 

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.

WOB Insights

High quality insights for women navigating their way to the boardroom. Includes articles and templates on how to build your board CV, tips for navigating your way to the boardroom and knowing what do when you get there. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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). 

Career Planning

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.

Build Your Board CV: Online Course

An online self-directed course that provides the tools, templates and guidance to enable you to create a quality board CV.  Upgrade options are available if you need further support.

First impressions count: How to make your Board CV stand out from the pack

A Board CV is different from a career CV in a number of ways. It is important you identify your transferable skills, articulate your seniority and achievements and highlight past board (or proxy board) experience. All in a succinct way. 

The evolving state of sustainability in Australia (and why you need to prepare now)

BDO Australia recently hosted a robust and insightful panel discussion on the evolving state of sustainability in corporate Australia. In this article, BDO’s Aletta Boshoff shares the five key takeaways from the event.

Underpayments | The 3 questions for directors to ask to uncover the hidden risks


Wage underpayments are not only an issue of concern for employees and boards, but one that directors consider seriously in terms of personal liability.  Identifying and preventing wage underpayment requires a sophisticated multi-pronged approach, including technology and compliance, writes Clayton Utz’s Melissa Ferreira, Saul Harben, Paul Fontanot and Cameron Belyea.

Am I board ready? 8 tips for anyone thinking about boards

There is still a widespread misconception that board roles are out of reach or unsuited to full-time working professionals. Yet board roles are increasingly being taken by working executives and younger people as companies seek candidates with current experience and a diversity of skills, age and background, writes Women on Boards Co-founder and Executive Director, Claire Braund.

Security Risks: Expectations and Obligations for Boards

A five-part series produced by Women on Boards in collaboration with McGrathNicol discussing security risks and what you should know to fulfil your duties as a director.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

ESG: Opportunities and Risks for Boards

A six-part series produced by Women on Boards in collaboration with BDO & Directors Australia on the fundamentals of ESG and what you should know to fulfill your duties as a Non Executive Director.

How to Chair a Meeting

'Pay attention to the people, pay attention to the process and pay attention to getting a valuable output'. In this handy guide, Julie Garland McLellan gives a step-by-step guide to how to chair a meeting and the pitfalls to avoid.

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.

The First 90 Days

Member-only content

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

(April 2022)

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.

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?

Having Conversations About Cyber and IT in the Boardroom 

Boardroom conversations about cyber security are essential to managing and mitigating cyber risk within any highly regulated, not for profit organisation. In this article, GovernWith’s Wes Ward examines why board directors should be educated on the risks of cyber crime and director liability and asks what cyber questions should be raised at board meetings?

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.

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.

Changes to the Data Protection Act | What it means for your business

With an increasing amount of personal and sensitive information being collected by businesses, data privacy and security have become a major concern. Companies need to ensure that they have effective data governance practices in place. In this article, McGrathNicol cybersecurity experts Joss Howard and Darren Hopkins look at the changes to the Data Protection Act and what they mean for your board and business.

Podcast: Making the shift from CFO to Board

Are you interested in becoming a NED? Women on Boards UK CEO, Fiona Hathorn, shares her top tips for anyone setting out on their Board journey.

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.

ACCC lifts the lid on greenwashing

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently released the results of its ‘internet sweeps’, reviewing the websites of nearly 250 companies for the validity of their sustainability claims.  So where are organisations going wrong with their green claims, and how can boards avoid falling into the ‘greenwashing trap’, asks BDO’s sustainability experts Aletta Boshoff and Ashley Bleeker.

ESG-linked remuneration: A case study

ESG-linked remuneration can lead to reduced emissions, improved social license performance, and an increase in company value. So why isn’t every company doing it? asks BDO’s Allan Feinberg and Catherine Bell.

Mentoring 101: Why you need people who are on your side

Mentoring 101 with Women on Boards' Claire Braund and My Mentor manager Ruth Jones

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.

ESG: A global phenomenon treading new ground

2022 was a year full of highlights for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, focusing on how the world economy is proactively and reactively adopting new approaches to sustainability. Here BDO’s ESG experts Aletta Boshoff and Ashley Bleeker take a look at five of the major sustainability developments to keep an eye on this year. 

What does climate reporting mean for directors’ liability? 

Mandatory climate reporting will soon likely be a reality for many Australian entities. In this article, BDO’s Aletta Boshoff looks at what climate reporting means for directors’ liability.

Board Briefing: Boardroom Psychological Safety Impacts Decision Making

Decision-making effectiveness and high performance is being compromised by the psychological safety in Australian boardrooms, a new study has found.

Director Remuneration Guide

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?

What the digital agenda will look like for boards in 2023

As 2023 kicks off with a post-COVID glow, we can’t forget that consumers are facing inflationary pressures, a possible global recession and continuing supply chain challenges. As well as an increasingly changing and difficult online and cyber environment.

Preparing a contract summary that adds value for your board

Have you been asked to review a commercial contract and prepare a contract summary for your board or commercial team? Lawyers know what to look for in a commercial contract, but condensing a lengthy contract into a succinct and practical summary is not always easy. Whether you are a contract review novice or have many contract reviews under your belt, in this article Holding Redlich’s William Kontaxis sets out his top tips to help you sharpen your contract review and summary writing skills.

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). 

How to choose your first board?

At Women on Boards we are often asked how you might choose your first board. 

Information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility: Important for all, essential for some

Organisations that fail to make their ICT products and services accessible not only risk excluding certain segments of the population, but they also potentially expose themselves to breach of laws, including anti-discrimination legislation. In this article Clayton Utz Sydney Partner Ken Saurajen and Special Counsel Monique Azzopardi outline why it is vital companies make their ICT products and services accessible, including for people living with a disability and how to avoid individuals bringing a discrimination claim against them.

10 tips to present effectively to your board

Anyone who is in the boardroom is taking part in leadership. It's important that everyone has the ability to influence decisions to get better outcomes. Here Julie Garland McLellan shares ten tips to improve your chances of doing it well.

Articles to support your board journey

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

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.

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.

'Make room for S and G': Emerging ESG Themes

In this article, BDO’s sustainability experts Aletta Boshoff and Ashley Bleeker outline the five main themes emerging in ESG for boards and organisations.

Great Articles

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

Seven steps to kickstart your board journey

I’m too young, I’m inexperienced, I have nothing to offer: These are expressions we often hear from women when discussing their board potential.

NFP Focus: Should charities have a reserve?

Many charities struggle with the concept of reserves - the accumulation of surplus funds for future use - with  false belief that being a not-for-profit means they must not generate a surplus or profit. But, says BDO’s Leah Russell, good NFP governance relies on effectively managing reserves by assessing risks and articulating a good reserve policy. 

Enterprise bargaining trends: paid climate disaster leave, gender affirmation leave and more

Enterprise bargaining clauses are adapting to changing societal norms at a quick pace and, with the promise of adjustments to the principles and guidelines of good faith bargaining, they could gather even more speed, writes Clayton Utz’s Amy Toohey and Jesse Rutigliano.

The seven reasons why being a director is good for your career

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. Here are Women on Boards’ seven reasons why being a director will benefit your career:

Three good reasons to consider a board role NOW

You might think its too early to consider getting a board role? Here are three great reasons you are never too young to start.

5 things you need to know about ESG now (and why it’s time to develop an ESG framework)

By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the term ‘ESG’. However, like many others, you may be wondering what it is and why all the fuss? You aren’t alone. In this article, we break down five things you need to know about ESG now, and why it’s time for many organisations to develop an ESG framework.

Is FY23 the Year of the Sustainability Report?

Consumers, investors, and regulators are calling out for more transparent communication from organisations about environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. However, a recent BDO poll found that more than 70 per cent of respondents have not yet produced a sustainability report. If you haven’t started your sustainability journey, you’re certainly not alone – but could FY2023 be your year to dive in?

You're never too old or too young for the Boardroom

Women on Boards UK CEO, Fiona Hathorn on the changing role of governance, the importance of culture and diversity in a post-Covid world and why you’re never too young to sit on a Board.

Your governance and risk survival guide to the new financial year

The new financial year (2022-2023) is fast approaching and with it key changes and milestones across key governance and risk management issues. Here is The Governance Institute’s guide to what’s ahead for the governance and risk professional on the following issues.

Patent box legislation: everything you need to know

Clayton Utz’s Natalie Shoolman and Louisa Wu discuss the IP and tax implications arising from the proposed Australian patent box, as expanded by this year's Budget announcement.

Stakeholder engagement in the ESG process

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. 

Women in Business report reveals COVID’s unexpected impact on gender diversity in the workplace

More than 79 per cent of Australian businesses are using new ways of working to create a more inclusive environment to attract and retain female talent according to a new Grant Thornton report.

Earth movers: Listen, watch, read and be inspired by WOB's sustainability experts

This Earth Day, on 22 April, businesses and organisations are being urged to Invest In Our Planet. So how can Boards help? Check out WOB's articles and resources on ESG, podcasts with sustainability experts and more to see how you and your Board can make a difference.

Cyber security front of mind for organisations: BDO and AusCERT Cyber Security Survey Report 2021

Cyber security is front of mind for all organisations, regardless of sector or size, according to the 2021 BDO and AusCERT Cyber Security Survey which had a record number of respondents. With increased threat from supply chain attacks and more digitisation, the 2021 report highlights the need for organisations to operate with a cyber resilient mindset.

Raising the bar: The opportunity to influence ethical standards as a non-exec

WOB UK founder Rowena Ironside shares her personal perspective on boardroom ethics, and what you can do as a non-executive director to make change happen.

Applying a framework to ESG reporting

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?

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.

What you should be thinking about when refreshing your whistleblowing systems and policies

There are eight key elements to consider when refreshing your whistleblowing policy and systems, and with ASIC recently reiterating it is ready to enforce compliance with the Corporations Act's requirements, now is the time to do so.

Key steps to getting your ESG right

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.

Boost your board career with these 10 steps

What to boost your board career? Follow these 10 simple steps from Women on Boards.

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.

Mentoring matters: 10 tips to make the most of your mentoring

In this article WOB My Mentor Director Ruth Jones and WOB Director and experienced mentor, Cheryl Hayman, share their top 10 tips on how to make the relationship work and talk about why mentoring matters and how mentees and mentors can get the most out of it.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. Here Women on Boards Executive Director gives her tips on what to expect when you join a board.

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?

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. 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.