International Womens Day – Pathway to the Boardroom Sydney

By Michelle Gardiner Partner – Board Practice

Published Date: 2018/03


Derwent celebrated International Women's Day in Sydney by hosting our 'Pathway to the Boardroom' forum with guest speakers Melanie Willis and Ian Elliot.

Both Melanie and Ian provoked audience thinking by sharing diverse points of view. Ian spoke to the importance of understanding your personal brand and your ‘value add’ to a board. He also shared his thoughts on diversity and the need to embrace not just gender but diversity of skill set, experience, age, and cultural background. Melanie emphasised the important role the Chair plays in setting the tone of the board. Melanie further shared insights around her experiences on boards with only one woman compared with boards with multiple women, commenting ‘the thinking is greater and deeper conversations tend to take place on boards that have multiple females’.

At the forum we shared a video, launched that morning by the AICD in celebration of International Women's Day. It is tongue-in-cheek footage designed to shine a light on the preposterous attitudes towards hiring female directors. Its key aim is to call on directors to press for progress, stop the bias and achieve true gender diversity on boards.