While 61 percent of university graduates in New Zealand are women, only 17 percent of NZX-listed board positions are held by ladies (a 5% hike from 2013). Despite the increase, there seems to be a huge disconnect in Who Run The World (hint: not girls). And, sadly, the number of women in leadership positions may be decreasing with female c-suite execs decreasing from 21% to 19% in the same NZX findings.
We’re not that great at governance diversity at PledgeMe either. Half of our team are amazing women (and then there’s me) but only one of our board members is a woman (yup, me again).
That makes me sad.
rant talk enough about gender (in)equality to ruffle a few feathers.
I’ve even been told to be “a bit less feminist” by an early investor.
But, if we want to be in a world where gender inequality is a historic relic, we need to start in our own backyard. And board room.
As we announced last week, we are searching for a board member to replace Anake. We’ve already had 30 applications so far, including 12 from women. And, we want more. I’d really like the successful applicant to identify as a woman so we can practice what we preach and hit our internal target of 40% women on the board.
And, Mr. #notallmen, before you say it: Yes. We do want the most skilled person.
Often that ol’ “most skilled person” line is used to justify the default stale, pale and male approach. This response indicates a belief that there aren’t women with those skills. It also shows an unconscious bias from the person using it. Like being on a board is akin to a mission to Mars where only rocket scientists need apply.
Yes, we want skills. We wouldn’t ask someone to be on our board who would feel uncomfortable performing the role required.
So what do we want?
An awesome woman with experience providing feedback on strategy and operations, as well as an understanding of the risks involved in being the director of a fintech startup. We’d like someone with skills in branding/marketing, scaling a company, or a legal background. And we want to call bullshit on the assumption that there aren’t heaaaaps of wonderful women with the skills PledgeMe needs. I know there are.
We need you to help spread the word
We need help to find someone (preferably a woman) who has the skills we need, the risk appetite for a start up, and who is values aligned with our team.
Who better to ask for help than our crowd. Click one of the links at the bottom to tweet / share the link to this blog with someone you know. Click here for the job description. Click here to apply. Click here to ask me more questions. Click here if you just wanted another option on the clickable side of life.
We’re trying harder
I’ve been talking about this for ages. And I send apologies to all the amazing women I have talked to about this for the lack of a structured process and lack of clarity around what we need and want previously. We’re trying harder now because in my mind it’s gone from the ‘nice to have’ to ‘it’s not going to happen if we don’t take direct action and it will help our company’.
Now that PledgeMe is diversifying our product offering, I feel compelled to diversify our board too. I’m going to be sending this blog to the people I’ve ranted to / w(h)ined with in the past and I would love it if you could please share it too.
Here’s the job description.
Here’s the application process that we’re running.
Applications will close Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016.
ps. Thank you to all the amazing applicants that have applied for our board position so far, men and women, you rock.