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Governance & Board Careers

Thank you Governance Institute, Susan Rix and Nicole Radice for another excellent Women in Governance luncheon

Career advice: opportunities can present in the form of challenges. You should have some sort of a career plan to help you spot the opportunities and be ready to reach out and take them, you cannot put your career in someone else’s hands, take control.

Work life balance is a myth. On either side (home or work), when it's on, it’s on and there’s not much you can do about that. It’s best to strive for “work life integration”, this is more achievable. Get the job done, meet your KPIs in whatever way works for you. An organisation with a good culture will make sure that you have the right support in place i.e. someone to take over when you need to focus on home.

Be aware that a great culture for one person isn’t always a great culture for others.

On the question on how to move up the ranks in a Governance and Risk career;

Spending time as a Director on Not for Profit Boards can help greatly, but when seeking out the ‘right’ NfP you should look for something that you’re passionate about. The risks and issues are the same in the smaller organisations as the large organisations, so you need to work on your own continuous development and be qualified for the directorships. Often NfPs are more complex businesses and increasingly so due to the continuous government reforms, but offering your services to these Boards has a great impact on people’s lives.

When selecting your first Board role you absolutely MUST do your due diligence, this includes (but not limited to):

  • Talking to former directors of the organisation,

  • Finding out if you will have the ability to influence the governance process,

  • Check ASIC to understand if there is a large churn of Board directors or if the majority of the Board ‘Pale stale males’?

  • What skills are they looking for?

  • What are the other skills on the Board?

  • What skills can you offer?

When in any role including Board roles, set your own boundaries and when you get to the point where something has crossed the boundary then you must speak up. Boards aren’t for everyone and not everyone enjoys them, often the NfP roles are unpaid therefore be aware that the role will cost you in your own time and substantial effort.