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Connexus : Issue 43
JULIANNE PLATH CEO, Railways Credit Union CATRIONA POLLARD Director, CP Communications RUTH MEDD Chair, Women on Boards "Networkin vita " take notice. "Volunteer to sit on a professional committee. Offer to be part of a judging panel for an award or to coordinate the annual charity fundraiser." Networking is vital. "Identify existing networks that will result in new contacts and build your own, getting to know people in your profession or industry area. "Tell them about your career aspirations. Ask them about theirs and offer to assist," says Medd. Make it social Catriona Pollard, founder and director of CP Communications, agrees that networking is a critical skill and says all available tools should be used. Social media, a positive approach to public relations and media training can all help you on your way to a senior job or board position, she says. "Social media is networking on steroids and if you are not using it effectively, you are likely to be missing out on new opportunities," says Pollard who runs workshops for women to develop a personal 'brand' and become comfortable using new communication tools and the online environment. She encourages women to actively build an online reputation. "Start a blog offering tips and sharing your expertise. Write guest articles for online news sites or industry publications. "It's critical to use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals and reach the key infuencers in your industry.” Pollard says getting some media training and making yourself accessible to journalists can help with reputation building. "Scoring a position on a board comes down to hard work and strong networks. You want to be known for having expertise, a voice and a good reputation." Carolyn Rance is a freelance writer. www.customerownedbanking.asn.au 41 Building on one in ve WOMEN HELD 21 PER CENT OF CREDIT UNION AND BUILDING SOCIETY DIRECTORSHIPS IN AUSTRALIA IN 2012 24 PER CENT OF DIRECTORS OF PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE FUNDS WERE WOMEN BY COMPARISON, ONLY 14 PER CENT OF DIRECTORS ON THE BOARDS OF ASX 200 COMPANIES, AND 7.6 PER CENT ON THE BOARDS OF SMALLER COMPANIES LISTED ON THE AUSTRALIAN STOCK EXCHANGE, WERE WOMEN Source: Women on Boards' Boardroom Diversity Index.