I was recently asked three questions by Jovina Ang of BoardAgender on my advice for aspiring female board directors. Here are my responses!
Q: Why did you want to be a board director?
A: As a former senior relationship partner at PwC, I worked with the boards, audit committees and senior management of various regional financial services players throughout my career. I also supported some not-for-profits in my spare time.
With my leadership experience in PwC, after working for nearly 30 years, I felt ready to add value to boards in the for-profit and professional arenas.
Q: How should an aspiring board director prepare herself to be a board director?
A: An aspiring board director needs technical skills and knowledge. The broader your experience, the better.
Your diverse perspectives as a woman are important. However, you must also clearly articulate your value to a board (verbally and in your board CV). This includes your:
- Technical competencies
- Industry knowledge
- Geographical experience
Many board chairs are looking to place new directors on sub-committees they may ultimately chair. So, consider the types of board sub-committees you can support and the value you can bring to them.
During your executive career, find ways to broaden your experience, which will help you prepare for board roles.
However, there is more to being a good board director than a technical specialist. Therefore, it is vital to hone your ability to navigate dynamics in the boardroom.
Remember that a good board is a team that works well together. So, find opportunities to learn how to work with people who are not like you. Ask for independent feedback from others on how you come across to them in meetings and how you could become more effective.
Q: What is one advice you would like to give to aspiring board directors?
A: Broaden your networks! The type of networks you will need as a director will differ from those as a senior executive.
Think about the kinds of networks and organisations you can join that will allow you to meet a wider variety of people. Some of these roles may be volunteer roles initially. However, they are an excellent way to get yourself known by others in a workplace scenario, where people get to know how you operate.
You can learn more from me by reading my article or watch my interview with the Women in Leadership Foundation at this link