YWCA Governance team recognised for age diversity award

Press Release – YWCA

The YWCA of Greater Wellington board has named the ‘2011 Exemplar of Age Diversity in Governance’ by Springboard New Zealand. Six of the current 12 person board on the YWCA are under 30 and all executive positions on the board (President, Vice President, …21 December 2011

YWCA Governance team recognised for age diversity award

The YWCA of Greater Wellington board has named the ‘2011 Exemplar of Age Diversity in Governance’ by Springboard New Zealand.

Six of the current 12 person board on the YWCA are under 30 and all executive positions on the board (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) are held by young, up and coming leaders.

Each year, Springboard New Zealand recognises an organisation that is an exemplar in regards to age diversity on their board

Current President Vanisa Dhiru says, “Given our organisation has the word ‘young’ in it [YWCA stands for Young Women’s Christian Association], we have to be representative of youth, and equally of women. There is a 25% young women constitutional requirement for YWCAs in New Zealand, and we have aimed higher in the past 3-4 years to get to and remain at the 50% figure. We’re all excited we have been recognised by Springboard for the diversity we provide to our membership and the local community we serve”.

“It’s an interesting discussion around the board table with a mix of age and backgrounds to listen to – our youngest is 20 year old and the oldest is 55+. We’ve got lawyers, trainers, bankers, students, mothers, mentors, leaders in their field; combine that with age diversity, and you know you have a great meeting of minds”.

Board members are recruited on skills, experience and background. If under 30 they must have a desire to learn and lead, if over 30 years a real passion for mentoring and development of younger board members.

“Just like many other board director roles, there is a process to follow for appointments and planning by the board on how to best involve and develop your skills, and harness your passion through the operational work if desired”.

“We are committed to ensuring our team receive ongoing governance development and support. All of our board members are given governance training opportunities and all new members, no matter of their age, go through a full induction process. We use a strengths based matrix to identify areas we need to fill”.

“Organisations like the YWCA must support the growth of women directors, and through positions like the board roles at the YWCA, women can support women to grow good governance and understand and practice working as a team, showing stewardship and managing risk, amongst other tasks. Volunteer board roles are extremely good for getting a head start in understanding directorships, but also are not just the starting or end point of a career in governance if that is your goal. Many of us around the table hold other governance roles and really have a passion for ensuring young women have positive life choices – our ultimate mission”.

The YWCA is an intergenerational organisation which serves women in over 155 countries internationally. In Wellington, the YWCA supports and develops young leaders through governance roles. www.ywcawellington.org.nz

ENDS

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