As key strategic partner of 30% Club Malaysia, CnetG Asia organised its first Board Profile Writing Masterclass, a two-hour virtual session on 13th August 2021.

Hosted for 21 board-aspiring mentees from the Board Mentoring Scheme of the 30% Club, the masterclass was designed to help women candidates align their resumés for higher appointment effectiveness.

Women in the corporate world face larger gaps in recruitment mostly reinforced by the way they describe themselves and their achievements on their resumés. For board aspirants, poor profile creation is one of the biggest factors undermining their competencies and detracting recruiters from picking them for critical positions.

Conceptualised and delivered by Raj Kumar Paramanathan, Managing Partner, CnetG Asia, the masterclass was an attempt to re-format the way women presented themselves for board positions. Pivoting from the standard resumé procedure, the masterclass threw light on gender bias in resumés where women unconsciously use a higher frequency of collaborative words instead of strong verbs -– which indicate output and impact.

As board resumés are different from executive ones, it should possess strategic relevance, match corporate governance principles and P&L management in the organisation. The session encouraged board aspirants to showcase their value instead of downplaying themselves as merely support forces in successful projects.

Most often, women shy away from staking ownership, a trait far different from men, who are more confident at referring to projects as their own accomplishment. Correspondingly, lengthy narratives -- often seen in women’s resumés -- also bring down their chances of success.

What distinguishes men’s profiles from women’s are brevity, clarity and choice of words. With numerous studies and examples, Mr. Paramanathan pointed out that recruiters often looked for smart, compact profiles that reflected a checklist of skills and accomplishments that could match the roles they were hiring for.

Women’s reluctance to give a dazzling snapshot of their career achievements are leading them to play secondary roles. Although women may be more qualified than their male counterparts for certain roles, the presentation of their resumés do not reflect their true potential or charisma.

Speaking at his virtual masterclass, Mr. Paramanathan said, “The Top 1/3 of the resumé is termed as the “prime real estate”, wherein candidates should describe the expertise and value they bring to the organisation. It is key to provide context and specifics instead of broad statements to highlight their expertise and competencies.”

The 30% Club Malaysia’s Board Mentoring Scheme is one of the most successful interventions where mentees are paired with Chairs, Board Directors and CEOs as mentors. The association aims to ensure women a place in organisational decision-making and advocates for effective representation of women in boards across companies in Malaysia. CnetG Asia plans to make their board profile writing masterclass an annual affair for mentees of the Board Mentoring Scheme of the 30% Club Malaysia.

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