BusinessDesk report by Kristen Paterson
Auckland International Airport and Warehouse Group are backing a scheme to deepen the pool of directors in New Zealand and up skill a new generation of business people.
Under the Future Directors scheme, which is to be administered by the NZ Institute of Directors, young professionals will be placed on the boards of public companies for 12 months.
While they won’t participate in decision making, they will be involved in board discussion, according to the Shareholders’ Association, which is backing the project. Those chosen won’t be offered any permanent work by the companies at the end of the 12 months.
Auckland Airport has placed Genesis Energy’s general manager of strategy and business technology, Sheridan Broadbent, on its board under the scheme, the airport company said today.
Joan Withers deputy chairwoman of Auckland Airport told Fairfax Media last September that young people “are under-represented” in the boardroom. “They have great, fresh ideas and the way that our education system is turning them out, they are lateral thinkers, entrepreneurial and quite bold.”
The programme has been driven by Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall, Vector chairman Michael Stiassny and the Shareholders’ Association.
“Directors frequently begin their careers in smaller organisations where the support and best practice governance framework may be less developed,” Stiassny said. The new scheme will address that weakness.
Shareholders’ Association director Des Hunt said the association has long expressed concerns about the size of pool of qualified people able to take on senior governance positions.
Participants will be assigned a director mentor and attend board and subcommittee meetings. They are required to commit to confidentiality, insider trading and other relevant policies and protocols and may be excluded from some meetings.