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Are millennials ready to take a seat at the boardroom table

Are millennials ready to take a seat at the boardroom table

As part of International Women’s Day this year a female CEO of global media spoke to the women at my company to share her top five tips for excelling in the media industry, especially as a female.

She told us, “take a seat at the boardroom table, ask for things you need and deserve”.

While she was talking about women, you can also apply this advice to millennials across both genders. We all want to take a seat at the table and be heard.

Ideation flows through every employee from every sector of a business. A team may not sit in the ‘creative department’ or have a title that implies ‘ideas master’ but still have a different and valuable perspective and voice to contribute. Especially the millennials sprinkled throughout the business.

Having a mentor or manager who encourages and ‘allows’ us to offer our thoughts and contribute in order to collaborate, is what each millennial desires.

I have been lucky enough to have three managers who have provided exactly this for me, including a director of a department I was in, who believed in my ideas and perspective. It encouraged me, it drove me, and it challenged me, because I was starting to make my way to taking that seat. When we are given the opposite, a superior who will not let us spread our wings, or a superior who for want of a better saying feels ‘we should be seen and not heard’, we are less productive, less collaborative and less confident.

We have made gains toward gender equality – although there is still a way to go – but let’s not forget about the age respect race. Young and old, we all want our opinion to matter; we all want our ideas to be heard.

As much as we all play for team ‘me’, we also play for a team ‘us’. Some of the best results are delivered when a group listens and hears one another, leading to what we want when we eventually take that seat, respect.

When millennials are not just seen but also heard, and our opinion is acknowledged, we respect our managers as they have seen us as an equal rather than a junior member of the team, but as well as this we gain respect from our colleagues. Therefore the next time we enter a meeting, or a brainstorming session, or a client presentation, we feel encouraged and confident to express our ideas and contribute to the end product.

We are making our way to take the seat at the boardroom table in the future, but also hoping we open up the avenue to have more millennials start to take that seat as well.




Tessa Conboy is a millennial and grew up on Sydney’s North Shore. She was private school educated (Pymble Ladies College) and gained her Bachelor of Communications, Journalism from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW.

Currently, she works for one of Sydney’s leading hospitality companies as a member of the publicity team. Like most of her generation, she is a digital native and fluent with most social media platforms.
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  • Richard C. Hogan

    With the ever advancing Millennial in his/her career, their presence needs to be acknowledged. It would behoove Boards to bring their promising individuals on board to at least provide research and act as advisors to their current strategic planning. This way all generations are being acknowledged and input is shared and communicated across the board.

    What one does not want is the feeling that the needs and wishes of a group to be not heard. The lack of communication and sense of belonging in an organization is similar to that of a marriage; it is essential and vital for it to succeed. Afterall, a TEAM is where Together Everyone Accomplishes More.