What was your professional career path to become an administrator? Have you encountered any difficulties in reaching this position? Which ones?
Véronique Faber. – “Wherever I worked, it did not take long before I started to see beyond my responsibilities and tasks and understand that there is so much potential not utilised because of a lack of strategic thinking and vision. This is what motivated me to take charge. As I get older, I find it easier to ‘choose my battles’ and decide where to put time and energy into, and where not to.
I managed a board of directors for many years and I had the opportunity to learn the basics ‘on the other side’ when I was vice president of the national microfinance platform Infine. This experience taught me that the single most important and difficult task for an administrator is to hire the right person to lead the organisation and start governing. I think we succeeded with Infine.
Do you think it is important to bring diversity to boards of directors? How can this be achieved?
“A diverse board of directors is in fact annoying. Administrators have different opinions, points of view and priorities. However, I strongly believe that a board is a sounding board for the organisation, and thus is only relevant and provide value if it reflects society at large. If we need quotas to kick-start better diversity in boards, so be it. Maybe we also need to talk about boards differently if we want to attract different profiles. To become an administrator, paid or not, is not an achievement or a status symbol. To become administrator equals shared responsibilities and an engagement for the general interest of an organisation or company.
Do you have any advice for women who would like to join a board of directors?
“If you feel passionate about a cause or the mission of an organisation, tell people about it or contact the organisation directly to let them know. If no one knows, no one will ask you. To be administrator is something you learn on the job. So, it is never too early to start. Qualities you need to bring to the table are availability, the ability to act outside of self-interest and lots of discretion. What happens in the board room, stays in the board room.”
Registration for the “10x6 Women on Board” is open on the Paperjam Club website.