Study puts the spotlight on the role of the chair

Posted on 20 Jun 2019

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

Nearly all chairs enjoy their role as a board member, understand their responsibilities as board members, and the majority are planning to stay firmly in their seats.

Viewfromthe Chair Report cover

The second Spotlight report from the ICDA not-for-profit governance survey, The View from the Chair reveals fresh insights into the crucial chair's role. The report was released to round out Chairs' Week, as part of the Festival of Community Directors.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The majority of chairs are women, although men are over-represented when compared with their number;
  • Female chairs are younger than their male counterparts, who stay longer in "the chair"
  • Chairs are mostly over 50
  • Board chairs are generally happy and stable in their roles and say they understand that role well;
  • Chairs in the sport and recreation sector are less likely to have had a good induction, done governance training or participated in a board review

The report is the product of an ICDA sister organisation, the Innovation Lab, where data scientist Paola Oliva-Altamirano analysed the survey results alongside Our Community executive director Kathy Richardson.

"It's interesting to note the outliers in this report - such as those in the sport and recreation sector - and to compare the experience of chairs to other board members," Ms Richardson said.

"We've also heard the views of chairs loud and clear when it comes to their training needs, with fundraising and governance the biggest perceived needs." Ms Richardson said.

This study follows the recent release of the Spotlight report into NFP Impact and Data. ICDA will release further insights from the survey in stages, with the full release of all the data due later this year, but we'd love to hear what you think about this latest report.

Have your say about this study on Facebook at Not-for-profit Happy Hour Australia or tag a tweet @NFPdirectors with your view.

If you’d like to be notified about further Spotlight reports as they’re released, become a member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia.

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