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Building your Board Portfolio...Myths and Tips - The NED Gender ’Wars’ (contd.)

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Myth 6... As a woman you can’t get an NED role because they all go to the men

As covered in the previous article, the above is simply not true. More men than women are appointed to ASX300 board roles however the replacement rate for women is higher than it is for men and this has been the case for some time. It is also expected to continue for some years to come.

For roles on Government boards it is a much more even playing field and has been for a while. For instance at the Federal level women held 44.5% of Australian Government Board positions as of the 31st of December 2017. Likewise Not-for-Profit boards are a more balanced gender landscape.

What is however true, based on the potential NEDs that we see at Watermark, is that more women executives are actively seeking a transition to a ‘portfolio career’ and this includes board roles. In my view there is an increased competition for board roles and that comes more from women actively seeking those roles than it does from any other quarter.

On a final note

There are more men in board roles, especially ASX300 roles BUT the replacement rate of women is higher. 40 women left the ASX300 boards in 2017 and 68 were appointed.

Government Boards (State and Federal) are strongly committed to a 50:50 gender balance and Not for Profit Boards also have a high representation of women.

In the next article, I will have a look at whether or not joining a Government or Not for Profit board is a good step in building your portfolio.

To build your portfolio apply the 4 Ps:
Pragmatic, Planned, Persistent and Professional.

Graham Willis

Graham has been a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors for over 20 years and leads the Board Practice at Watermark Search International.

A series of articles that look at some of the myths surrounding the building of a board portfolio and also provides some practical tips, from current Chairs, on how you might build your portfolio. 

In case you missed it, read the first article in the series.

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by Graham Willis