Jacquie Fegent-McGeachie: Finding Confidence in Herself

Paul Smith

Jacquie Fegent-McGeachie has an impressive resume. Having been a non-executive director of the Forestry Stewardship Council for three years, and standing as an executive of Kimberly-Clark, some might wonder why such a professional would feel the need to attend a board accelerator program such as the one offered by Future Directors, (now called ‘Make Me A Board Director’).

But that’s the beauty of the Future Directors program. No matter where you are on your current career path, you’ll get value out of it. Jacquie was first inspired to join a board because she had a desire to make a greater contribution to an organisation that she cared about. She also wanted to gain more experience in governance, as well as provide support and expertise in the corporate area.

It’s safe to say that Jacquie had a fair amount of board experience before attending the program. However, she yearned to do some formal training in governance and wanted to build on her ambition: to join the board of Sustainable Business Australia. Jacquie had heard about the program through pure serendipity. While on maternity leave, she happened to read an article in the Australian Financial Review that featured an interview with Future Directors CEO and Co-founder Paul Smith, in which he described the program and the benefits it could provide to participants. Upon reading the article, Jacquie was impressed by the proposition of diversity across gender, age and ethnicity on boards, and the focus on individual influence and the dynamics of a boardroom.

Before beginning the program, Jacquie felt unsure of how to approach a board and express her desire to be on it. While she had clear targets set, she wasn’t sure how to frame her pitch in a way that would showcase the unique set of skills and values she could bring to the organisation. But after participating in the program, Jacquie gained the confidence and motivation to put herself out there and strive to reach her goals. During the program, she enjoyed hearing candidly from other directors who divulged what it’s like to be on a board, and the mock board meeting that acted as a clever simulation of what a real board meeting would be like.

The program introduced Jacquie to a wide network of supportive, like-minded individuals across a variety of industries within a supportive environment, and enabled Jacquie to develop the right pitch for her desired board role with Sustainable Business Australia – a role that, thanks to Future Directors, she was able to attain.

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