Women on boards: Northern Power Women’s Top Tips For Getting On A Board

According to a recent report, women aren’t a good fit in boardrooms, most of them don’t want the hassle of a big job and they don’t understand the complex issues discussed in board meetings. That is according to leading executives at the UK’s biggest companies, who have offered the excuses to explain why their boardrooms are dominated by men.

Instead of circulating the ridiculous statements again, Debrah Dhugga, MD DUKES Collection took the time to change the statements, so they represent a more truthful outlook:

 

“Women fit comfortably into the board environment”

“Women with the right credentials and depth of experience should to sit on the board – Does Gender really matter?”

“Most women are ready and capable to handle the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board”

“Shareholders are interested in the make-up of the board, diversity is key”

“Any strong board would want to appoint a female colleague on the board”

“There are lots of ‘good’ women ready to be snapped up”

“We should have an equal amount of men and women in the boardroom”

“The position available is open to all it’s the right person we are look for not the gender”

“We can build a pipeline from the bottom – for senior female leaders”

“We need to appoint the right person for the role”

 

Adrian Adair, board member of Morsons Group said “We are passionate about men as advocates of change to increase representation of women on boards across our business and our customers”

We have reached out to our NPW community for top tips for getting women on boards from both a woman’s perspective and for organisations.

For women:

  • Vocalise your ambition to sit on a board.
  • Be clear on what you can offer of both skills and behaviors when in the position
  • Work with organisations like women on boards to support your knowledge of what your duties are
    Yvonne Harrison, MD Project 92
  • Be confident in articulating your views and opinions. The best board have a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Build relationships. You can test views, gather support and understand perspectives by talking as much outside the board as inside the board.
  • Own your seat at the table. Don’t compete but don’t let them take over.
    Emily Cox, Director of Public Affairs Virgin Money
  • Ignore the noise – never has there been a better time to get your CV out there, highlight your capability and show why that matters much more than Board experience
    – Debbie Hewitt MBE, Non-Executive Director, NCC Group PLC & Redrow

For organisations :

  • Be transparent with your pay structures
  • Use an HR specialist for your people and performance needs
  • Have a Board with an even gender balance (if deemed necessary use quotas as an interim measure)
  • Monitor hires and promotions by gender and diversity
  • Adopt agile working as a business model and consider part-time and job share solutions, as well as freelance support
  • Support parents in identifying and securing affordable childcare
  • Enable access to leadership programmes
  • Signpost to / deliver mentoring schemes
  • Normalise shared parental leave
  • Use language carefully – agile over flexible working every time.

         – Sarah Hall is a PR and marketing agency owner, founder of #FuturePRoof and President
        of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations for 2018

Our Founder & CEO Simone Roche has been discussing this on Channel 5 News too – please do keep the conversation going and tweet us @NorthPowerWomen and share your top tips with us.

3 Responses
  1. nicola chance-thompson

    Beware the ‘imposter’ syndrome – you have as much right to be on a Board as men
    Don’t think you have to cover all the requirements – just having some of them with your experience is good enough

  2. Be clear and true to yourself as to what your motivations are.
    Approach a board where you genuinely can and most importantly, want to make a diffference.
    Gender doesn’t project passion….you do.
    Service Manager @ShelterManchester

    Trustee at @popsfamilies
    Board member @England Boxing

Leave a Reply