Changing the Face of the Boardroom: June Magasu
In this interview series, we take a look at life as a ‘non traditional’ board member and the benefits they bring to boards and organisations.
Today I am profiling June Magasu, a wonderful lady who is helping restore a country after civil war. Although not on a board, she is achieving things and making an impact in ways that many of us could only dream about. All whilst being a single mother.
I am so grateful to be sharing June’s interview with you.
Get on Board Australia (GOBA): What board(s) do you sit on?
June Magasu (JM): I am actually a senior manager within the Papua New Guinea Governance Facility, Bougainville Program (Abt. Associates).
GOBA: What is unique about you?
JM: I am a Bougainvillean who fled at the height of the crisis and returned 26 years later, with experience from Solomon Islands working with different media streams and AusAID Programs and a passion for Gender Justice. Life has taught me many lessons/experience that I bring to the table not only as a professional in the development sector but at home as a single, working mother.
GOBA: How did you get your position?
JM: Through the position I held as a Coordinator for two parallel youth programs with the Autonomous Government of Bougainville (District Youth Associations) and the DFAT funded Bougainville Youth Initiative. And I also earned my position based on the respect that my bosses had of me.
GOBA: How does your uniqueness benefit the organisation?
JM: I have a strong sense of direction, analysis and gender sensitivity. I believe these have greatly helped my organisation and me.
GOBA: What has your experience in this organisation been like? Do you feel that your differences are a benefit or a hindrance?
JM: I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this SMT. I am given a chance to voice my perspectives, which I feel has helped influence decision-making although appropriately challenging existing paradigms.
GOBA: What advice would you give to people in a similar situation to you?
JM: I would say – We all as human beings know that with our rights also comes responsibility. When you know how to balance this you can do anything and be anywhere. As the former President of the US, John F Kennedy stated, “Never let us fear to negotiate, but let us never fear to negotiate”. I believe that as women, we should not remain silent but rather use our voices as our platform to bring about change that will benefit everyone. Also, success lies within you. If we want to grow then we will, but if not, then we will be growing old waiting for it. It’s all about hard work.
[heading] ABOUT CHANGING THE FACE OF THE BOARDROOM [/heading]
Many times I am told by aspiring board members that they feel like they are not qualified for the boardroom, or that they have nothing to offer. Much of this self-opinion comes from the perception that is reinforced in messages about the boardroom; you have to be old, connected, conservative, and extremely educated to be on a board.
I call BS on this!
I am certain that there are many wonderful board members out there who don’t fit the traditional “pale and stale” stereotype of company directors / board members. People who came to the boardroom along the path less travelled, with a unique career background or because of some rare characteristic that has proved invaluable for an organisation.
I know they’re out there and I want to profile them to show aspiring directors that they do have something to offer. That the boardroom is somewhere they can thrive and give back; and that their uniqueness can have extraordinary value to an organisation. I want organisations and people everywhere to know it too.
[heading] READ OTHER CHANGING THE FACE OF THE BOARDROOM PROFILES [/heading]
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