Breaking Barriers: A Glimpse into an All-Female Board Meeting
In Angie Vaux’s (Founder of Women in Tech forum | Winner ‘Women’s Business Initiative of the Year 22/23’) 25 years in the tech industry, she recently encountered an experience that was refreshingly new to her: an all-female board meeting. This meeting was a gathering of eight highly accomplished female executives, convened to deliberate on the growth strategy for the Inspiring Leadership Foundation, all dedicated to achieving economic empowerment for vulnerable women and girls.
This unique meeting brought to light observations that, although they should be standard, are not always the norm in male-dominated boardrooms. Here are some noteworthy takeaways from Angie’s observations:
Equal Opportunity for Expression: Every participant had an equal opportunity to share their ideas and strategies.
- Respectful Discourse: There was an environment that allowed each voice to be heard without interruption or dismissiveness.
- Recognition of Contributions: Credit was duly given to those who contributed, and ideas were built upon and attributed to their originators.
- Collaborative Decision-Making: Our decisions were reached through a collaborative process, emphasizing consensus-building.
- Shared Responsibilities: Everyone took diligent notes, and work was evenly distributed among the group.
Conversely, there were notable absences that often characterize male-dominated boardrooms:
- Exclusive Language and Conversations: Inside jokes and exclusionary ‘boys talk’ were conspicuously absent.
- Absence of Unspoken Rules: There were no unwritten codes of conduct dictating how individuals should behave.
- Lack of Posturing: The meeting was marked by a refreshing absence of the competitive posturing that can sometimes dominate such environments.
The meeting concluded with a collective sense of inspiration, energy, and excitement about the role each of us would play in shaping the future of the charity. While these observations may seem self-evident, they underscore the need for continued efforts to foster inclusivity in boardrooms.
We’d love to hear from you. How are you championing inclusion in your boardroom? Would you like to work together? Let’s continue to break barriers and inspire positive change.