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blog • Resource

How can boards get involved in the movement?

Megan Raybould

07 August 2020

Boards play an important role in the movement. Find out how boards can get involved and access support.

The Young Trustees Movement works with lots of incredible boards and board members working hard to be inclusive and improve diversity and future proof of their boards.

This post outlines how boards can be part of the movement, how they can champion young trustees and what we can offer them!

Change at board level won’t happen overnight, but when you invest time and energy into the process, it will make for a stronger & more future proof board.

Take a look at the board strategy below! You can see how boards can make the decision to actively work to be more inclusive and not continue to exclude. This journey of change involves:

  • Starting the conversation
  • Doing the inner work to make your board ready to recruit
  • Recruiting
  • Taking time to reflect and commit
  • Eventually becoming a young trustees movement champion.

It all starts with a conversation!

If you want to read more about the journey of change, I’d encourage you to take a look here.

Starting the conversation

First up, we asked members of the movement what is the one most important thing boards can do to support young trustees. Listening and learning from members of the movement can help guide the journey of change!

Here’s what they said:

  • Give them the respect you would give any other trustee – don’t just invite them into the conversation to hear ‘what young people think’
  • Give them a trustee mentor, who is able to be a point of contact for questions and a familiar face at meetings or be a buddy to ask ‘silly’ questions.
  • Thorough induction: help them understand the language, terms, concepts.
  • Good foundational training: build their skills, offer them training opportunities.
  • Make appropriate space for them across the events that don’t involve large donations.
  • Check in, be approachable and always be willing to answer any questions – no matter what they are!
  • Pre meets to give the space to ask questions that they might not feel brave enough to ask in the meeting (but that everyone else is thinking anyway!)
  • Provide flexibility with time and workload to make a young trustee role accessible to a wider range of individuals.
  • To set up the conditions for success including a well thought out on-boarding/ induction process.
  • Be committed to deconstructing power – that comes in all forms – who sits where, what you wear, who’s invited to speak, what your board looks like in terms of its diversity etc.

Why not start the conversation with your board and take the first step? You can watch a webinar about getting your board on board, here!

If you’d like to have more of a conversation with us if you’re not sure what the benefits would be to your board, or you aren’t sure where to start – we can arrange a catch up to discuss it. Email us.

Inner work & Recruitment

We’ve put together this checklist of ways boards can internally take action and put the movement into action! Here’s what you can consider:

Getting the rest of your board on board

Does everyone on your board understand the value added of having diverse voices on your board?

Role Advert, promoting the opportunity & the interview process

Is your recruitment an open process? Are you reaching out past your immediate network?Is your role advert accessible and welcoming to diverse applicants?

Induction & training

Are you investing in your trustees and what they can achieve? Can you support the skills development of your board? Do you offer mentors or informal ‘buddies’ to all new trustees?

Mentorship

Q&A recording

Expenses

Are you able to pay for reasonable expenses? And how do you ensure people can claim these without stigma?

Ensure that the boardroom is a safe and inclusive place for all, thinking about intersectionality

The Young Trustees Movement focuses on age – but we work inclusively and our approach to diversity on trustee boards is intersectional. All of the aspects listed, should be considered in this light.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are a few great organisations working on trustee diversity that we’d encourage you to learn from:

Other practicalities: Time of meeting, What you wear, Where you sit, Space/ time to ask questions

How you organise your board meetings to mean that they are inclusive and accessible will take some time to think about. Time of your meetings, what you wear, where you sit, how you open the conversation for questions will all play a factor.

Reflect on, improve and commit to inclusive practice

No one is perfect! Have you got spaces and processes built in for feedback, reflection and improvement?

Reflect & Commit

If you are invested in being inclusive and would like to Champion the movement you can get involved by:

Sharing your spotlight story with us

When our movement members share their stories, they inspire others. If you have been part of a board change, your board is working towards being more inclusive or you’re really proud about something you’re working on. Email Meg to share the story with us.

Sharing your opportunities with us

We’re happy to promote your opportunities with our network. Just fill in this short form to let us know the details.

Promoting young trustees work on social media

We’d love it if you could help us spread the word! Share what you are doing on social media and tag us! We’re on Twitter @YoungTrustees. If you could share our posts, so other boards can find out about what we’re up to – that’s great too!

Join us for Trustees Week

We’re hosting a planning meeting on the 22nd August and we’d love you to come along! RSVP here.

Join the digital hub

Be the first to hear about what’s happening by signing up to our digital hub. We have a community of over 600 members made up of young trustees, trustees, boards and allies. Register here.

Get involved in designing the movement

Our movement is designed by and for the members. If you’ve got ideas for how we can improve and grow, we’d love to hear them. If you are registered on the digital hub you can post them here, if not – email them to Meg.

Mentor

We’re working on a mentor scheme! If you’d be interested in offering support to a young trustee or aspiring young trustee, email Meg to register your interest (you don’t need to commit now – we’ll send you more information once this is scheme up and running)

Action Learning Group/ Support Group for boards

We’re working on this! If you’d like to be involved you can book a meeting with Mita to find out more.

Learn more!

Take a look at our resources for ideas and practical suggestions to support you on your young trustee journey. Go to the resources section on our website.

This movement is made up of it’s members! Boards play such an important role in creating change and opening up spaces for young trustees.

If you have any questions or need support about any of the topics or ideas in this post – get in touch!

Become an ambassador

Young people are at the heart of our movement. Ambassadors act as spokes people for the movement, they take a leading role in creating the strategy and help to facilitate other young people to be involved.

Book a Training Session

Join a 1 hour training session to understand the power of young trustees, have a framework to understand how to approach board diversity and take practical next steps.