She Leads Workshops Board Readiness Wrap Up 

5 August 2020

Our She Leads Workshop series is designed to give women, including female-identifying and non-binary people the opportunity to gain practical skills to build their leadership capacity. Workshops are delivered by women who are experts in their field and are fun, interactive, inclusive, challenging and hands-on. We pride ourselves on creating safe and empowering spaces to learn and grow, no matter where participants are at in their leadership journey. 

Last week, YWCA Canberra proudly presented the She Leads Board Readiness workshops, facilitated by Jude Burger, Katie Whitehead and Betty Ferguson. The workshops, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, were centred around board basics and preparing women to build their confidence to take on a board role.  

Starting with the Board Governance workshop, participants were introduced to why boards are important, and why more women belong on boards. Participants were also able to learn about the roles and responsibilities of board members, different board models and elements that make up an effective board. Jude and Katie presented real-life models and examples of what workshop participants can expect on a board, and how to best navigate their way when deciding which board they wish to pursue.  

Following the first portion of the workshop, participants took part in a series of engaging activities that aimed to deepen their understanding of how boards operate, and the roles and responsibilities involved. During these activities, participants were split into two groups and asked to take on the role of board committee members. From here they were posed with a series of questions and scenarios that encouraged them to exercise some critical thinking about board knowledge and governance.   

Despite there being no right or wrong answers, everyone was able to present a thoughtful response to each question, with consideration to their position and personal values. Once concluding these activities, it was clear each participant was able demonstrate their ability to understand the different governing models, committee perspectives, and potential business outcomes.  

The following night on Wednesday, participants attended the She Leads Board Finance workshop facilitated by former YWCA Canberra treasurer, Betty Ferguson, and Katie Whitehead. The night consisted of robust discussion about what it takes to work effectively in a board, and the many different elements that make up a financial governance role. Betty provided a comprehensive and engaging look into board finance, and provided practical content, along with real-life examples and case studies.

Throughout the night, participants were encouraged to ask questions and engage in collaborative exercises that allowed them to use practical and critical thinking skills to envision themselves on a board committee. This opened the room up to a world of discussion between the participants and the facilitators, sharing their own experiences and observations of situations where they witnessed financial conflict within a business. 

Overall, both nights received an overwhelmingly positive response. Each participant left with a heightened knowledge towards board governance and finance, with some even saying that they felt more confident to pursue a position on a board. 

“[The workshop] confirmed my desire to be involved in board work and the importance of women-led boards and more diversification,” shared one participant.  

“[The workshops] has made me feel less shy about pursuing board opportunities, making them seem less foreign,” shared another participant.  

At YWCA Canberra, we are committed to our vision of girls and women thriving and use our workshops as an opportunity to build up women’s leadership skills so that they can feel confident to pursue whatever career they aspire to.  

Interested in pursuing a board career? 

Consider applying for our Board Traineeship program! This program provides our members with the opportunity to actively participate on our Board, without the financial or legal responsibilities of being directors. 

The Board Traineeship Program has tangible outcomes, with many of the trainees going on to be elected as a Board Directors at our Annual General Meetings. The Board Traineeship Program is a valuable professional development opportunity, and an innovative approach to fostering the next generation of women leaders. 

Applications for the Board Traineeship Program open in September each year, and you must be a YWCA Canberra member to apply. 

Think a Board Trainee Program would be good in your workplace? See our Bringing on Board guide available for download here. 

Looking to enhance your leadership skills? Join us this August as we present our new, She Leads workshop on mastering self-doubt in leadership with Angie Ford. 

In this workshop, you will learn about the importance of maintaining a strong mindset, overcoming your own mental hurdles, and learning techniques on how to deal with feelings of stress and uncertainty.  

For more information and to register, please visit our event page here. 

To receive updates on future She Leads opportunities and events, subscribe to the YWCA Canberra Newsletter and the She Leads Newsletter. 

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