Support women on boards without quotas: Kylie Walsh

Support women on boards without quotas: Kylie Walsh
Support women on boards without quotas: Kylie Walsh

GUEST OBSERVER

The solution to low representation of women on boards across the country is not to introduce quotas.

Creating quotas means that women instantly lose their credibility because they are seen as being required to be there.

Government should support and educate women on how they can achieve board representation.

While one should still earn the right to be appointed to a board, it’s the selection process that needs to be fairer.

In November last year the Victorian government introduced a program to help more women and girls earn sports leadership roles. A target of 40 percent of women in board positions in three years’ time was introduced.

The Change our Game campaign came after an enquiry into how to help women get the opportunities they deserve in what can be male-dominated environments.

The program includes recruitment guidelines to help attract more women and girls to sports leadership roles. This level of support needs to be rolled out across the country and through a wide range of industries.

The structure of how boards are elected should also be reviewed.

The internal nominations structure many organisations have could be replaced with a more transparent process that sees the best possible candidates for a role sought out through a variety of different means, including advertising and social media.

Board representation needs to be looked at as part of an overall strategic plan. Questions need to be asked, such as: Would an organisation benefit from having more men or women? What is their strategy and desired outcome?

Then a campaign can be created to look at the audience and the objectives for the board member they’re after.

This would see the right candidate for the role appointed and more women in turn would be given the opportunity to achieve board positions.

Mentoring of women to ensure that they are board ready is also an important step forward.

Organisations like Women on Boards, that help to provide information to women about how to achieve board positions, are essential to the process of ensuring more women are represented.

Kylie Walsh is a General Manager of Di Jones Real Estate and can be contacted here.

Tags: 
Board Members Management

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