Essential tips for youth on boards

What you need to know as an aspiring youth rep or board member.

Bring your youth and vitality to the board table

Young board members can provide new ways of thinking and working, bringing intergenerational views, voices, and knowledge to the board table.

Bring your youth and vitality to a board and gain some great new skills and experience along the way. We’ve listed out a few of the key benefits you can bring to the boardroom below.

Create positive change

Bring your skills to a cause or organisation which aligns with your values. Being on a board will allow you to get involved in different ways other than on-the-ground volunteering.

Boards play a pivotal role in decision-making. Be part of the decisions made for your generation and the next.

Your youth perspective is important as it increases relevance and connection to the community that the board serves.

As a new board member, ask for an induction to familiarise yourself with the organisation. Some boards may offer mentoring for new members. Ask for support if you need it.

Develop your own leadership skills

Share the room with governance leaders and thought leaders who you can learn from. Observe how they run their organisation, tackle problems as a collective, how they weigh up potential risks, and how they interact with other people.

As you start to get an understanding of the culture, you will begin to see characteristics you admire and appreciate. This is an awesome opportunity to lean in and sharpen your own skills.

Build your networks

Through your service on a board, you’ll have excellent opportunities to meet other people and build your networks. A good network allows you to:

  • strengthen your business connections
  • gain new knowledge, ideas, and perspectives
  • seek career advice
  • build confidence.

Your responsibility as a youth representative

As a youth representative, it’s important that you regularly connect with your peers to ensure their voices are heard at the board table.

Here’s an idea of what you can expect as a youth representative:

  • Attend meetings to discuss issues which have an impact on youth.
  • Collaborate with established local, regional, and national youth groups.
  • Listen and respect the views of other young people and feed these views back to the board for consideration and action, if appropriate.
  • Vote on board matters.
  • Act responsibly when representing a board.

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