If you ask anyone, even ChatGPT, to describe a typical board member, the likely answer is someone over 50 years old with a strong resume and perhaps some executive experience.

There is nothing wrong with this answer, but it is not the only criterion for someone to become a successful director. Some organizations are now leveraging members of Generation Z, general definition People born around 1997 or later can get a seat on the board.

“One thing is for sure, I’m always the youngest person, many years younger than me,” said Madeline Lawrence, 25, an investment firm peak In Berlin.According to a report by the Career Intelligence Platform, the average age of board members is 51.9 years Lively–Twice Lawrence’s age.

Lawrence is a director of flowan employee finance platform for managing expenses and corporate benefits; tiloresa data organization software company; and blinga financial literacy app that includes a children’s payment card that parents can manage.

While the three companies offer products that can be used by customers of all ages, Lawrence said part of her job as director is to provide input on “anything that touches the human face.”

“These are products that I and people I know use,” she said.

Megan Wang, CEO of Online Talent Marketplace board of directors list,Tell wealth She’s seen an increase in posts on the site open to first-time directors “who can address very specific gaps in skills or expertise on the board.”

“Telling your experience is more than just reading a linear history of your work resume. It’s about summarizing your senior experience in functions by industry and other areas of expertise, and how it uniquely serves the board,” Wang points out.

Rebecca Wood, 25, was appointed last year as the company’s youngest-ever board member. giants, an English professional rugby league club based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Wood, a chartered tax consultant with an accounting firm, said she has been attending games her entire life and has only missed a few since becoming a die-hard Giants fan around the age of 13.

As a familiar face in the stands, Wood became familiar with the existing directors, finance and commercial team, sponsors, coaching staff and players. When the board searched for a new director, her name was at the top of the list.

“After one of the games, the chairman asked to meet with me and asked if I would be interested in joining the board,” she explains. “We then had a separate meeting to discuss this further, what the expectations might be and what I could bring to the role.”

Announcing Wood’s appointment, Giants chairman Keith Hellawell noted that her age would be a huge benefit to the club.

“No one can doubt her passion for the club and if our club is to be successful in the long term we need young people, fresh perspectives and a recognition of the society we now live in,” Hellawell said in a statement . Press Releases.

While Wood’s appointment is the continuation of a lifelong passion, others serving on the board for the first time see it as an opportunity to network, give back and advance their careers.

Ross O’Leary, 27, was a senior account manager at a company earlier this year. Beach Hut PRJoined the Board of Directors of Blockchain Ireland, an industry network dedicated to promoting Ireland as a blockchain and Web3 hub.

“A few years ago, a colleague of mine gave me great advice and said the sooner you get on the board, the better,” O’Leary recalls. “Since then, it’s been something that’s been in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do.”

O’Leary noted that his duties as director take about four hours a week. Although he is the youngest person on the board, he said his public relations experience perfectly complements the skill sets of the other directors.

“It’s really important for the industry as a whole to get young voices involved because we have a unique perspective, especially when it comes to the industry involving young people,” he said. “The more they let me play, the more they get from I got more out of me.”

While Gen Z brings a unique perspective and set of experiences, Lawrence said sometimes she has to remind herself that just because someone is older and perhaps has more work experience, doesn’t necessarily mean they have the answers.

“Once you sit down, the founder might ask a question and then there’ll be silence. It’s easy to assume that the person next to me knows better — and it’s probably the same person — and then they’ll say what you’re thinking The same thing,” she said. “It’s kind of like impostor syndrome.”

Wang said she hopes more companies will consider the potential benefits of appointing Gen Z directors. While there isn’t any significant data on the number of twentysomethings on boards, there has been an increase in the number of younger directors. Spencer Stewart’s Profiles of New S&P 500 Directors in 2022 “The Rise of the Next Generation” was discussed, defining the next generation of directors as those aged 50 and under. The report shows that 18% of new directors last year were under the age of 50, an increase from 16% in 2021.

For boards considering tapping into the young talent pool, Wang offers some advice.

“Your directors want to be heard and listened to — that’s why you bring them to the boardroom in the first place,” she says. “But this generation particularly values ​​a specific way of working collaboratively and respectfully.”

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