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Are you ready for your Board Career?

The G8 Ladies kicked off 2019 with an excellent session learning from

Anna Hebron about Boards:

  • what are they,

  • how do we join them and

  • why/why not we should consider joining them.

The role of the Board is to make decisions which help the Management to run the organisation.

Differences between the Board and Management:

The Board is a group of directors who make decisions as a board, whereas management are responsible and accountable for their individual sections of the organisation and make decisions to enable their teams to achieve either their own the strategic targets.

Anna Hebron is a Strategic advisor, facilitator, coach & mentor delivering results for boards and business through governance and culture. She is the Qld representative for Women on Boards (WOB), WOB was established in 2006. In 2018 they set targets: 40 40 2020, which is Board composition of:

  • Min 40% representation of women

  • Min 40% representation of men

  • by 2020

It is well understood that Diversity is a great thing. For a business to be productive or sustainable it needs diversity, this holds thru also for an organisation’s Board. Customers are increasingly looking for diversity in Boards and senior management.

What is Due Diligence and how do I go about it?

  • Read the published annual Financial reports, however, be aware that you cannot compare one company’s Annual financial reports with another as there are no standardised ways to complete these reports, so they are not written in a consistent manner

  • Remember that you can never delegate financial responsibility so learn how to read the Financial reports

  • Tips for reading Financial reports:

  • Read the notes

  • If you're not sure, ask the Chair

  • If your questions are blocked, or if your questions are not welcome then consider that you might be putting yourself at risk, and leaving the Board might be a sensible strategy

  • Request to attend a Board meeting to observe the relationships, personalities, how they operate as a Board, how they turn up (have they read the papers in advance? Etc

  • Read the Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance to ensure that there are no exclusions

  • If you have concerns, raise them with the Chair, perhaps ask the question: “If you were in my position what question would you be asking to assure me that it will be ok?”

  • Research the other Board members to understand their skillset. You need reassurance of their Board experience. You don’t want to be on a Board with “well meaning” people who don’t understand the importance and responsibility of the role.

  • Be aware if you feel you are the only token woman on the board.

  • Understand what skill sets already exist in the Board and where are the gaps? What skill / experience are you bringing to the Board

Be aware of your duties and responsibilities:

  • The skill of financial literacy and the Director’s assessment of the financial capacity of the company is a duty that cannot be delegated

  • If you are holding a Board role then under the Corporations act you have common law duties:

  • Fiduciary - What you do and

  • Care and diligence - How you act

How to land your first of next Board role?

Understand why you want the Board role, remember that Board roles

  • are not well paid (if at all),

  • require a lot of your time,

  • are fraught with legal & personal risk.

The following guides are not complete nor comprehensive but will assist you in attaining your first of nest role.

  • Tell you network that you are looking and leverage your networks

  • Respond to ads

  • tell your network

  • Get your Board CV ready

  • M