The CEO of Young Women’s Christian Organisation Australia Michelle Phillips is leading the push for more young women on boards.

Phillips is a true social business leader driven by improving social impact and financial performance with almost 20 years senior executive leadership in I/NGO and commercial organisations with the advancement of women as the common thread. She has extensive international and local business experience in national strategy, change management, community engagement, funding and commercial partnerships. Her roles have ranged from Country Director delivering and advocating for lifesaving women’s health services in Asia and Africa, to establishing the highly successful national Westfield W-League and CEO roles with the Hyundai A-League football clubs.

“The average age of non-executive board members in Australia was currently 63.8, reflecting the need for greater diversity in boardrooms across the country. Where the effort to boost numbers of young women on boards is being lead by Australia’s leading feminist organisation in launching its new traineeship program,” Phillips said. “Young women are the future leaders of our country. As a young women’s organisation, YWCA Australia is committed to advancing leadership opportunities for young women. This program will allow trainees to learn the skills needed to effectively lead and govern companies and communities.”

The traineeship, launched during Young People on Boards Week from March 2 to 6, is open to all female YWCA Australia members aged 30 and under. It includes the Australian Institute of Company Directors three-day Foundations of Directorship course, opportunities to attend and observe YWCA Australia board meetings for 12 months, and mentoring sessions with a YWCA Board Director. “This new board traineeship program will equip young women with the skills and experience to pursue board appointments,” Phillips said.

YWCA Australia is a leading intersectional feminist organisation focused on improving  gender equality for women, young women and girls. For 140 years the organisation has challenged the systems, structures and policies that act as barriers to women in achieving their full potential.

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