IPSE Board elections 2018: why you should think about standing
- 18 Sep 2018
There’s nothing quite like being a director – especially somewhere like IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. We’re the leading body representing self-employed people in the UK, and I’ve been on our board for five years now. In fact, I recently had the honour to be elected chair of the organisation.
Being on the board is exciting. With somewhere like IPSE, the thrill comes from being part of something bigger. IPSE has grown enormously in the last ten years, expanding to represent everyone from creative freelancers to Uber drivers. What’s more, we are now more influential than ever before – across the worlds of business and politics. As a director, you play a central part in that.
Being a director at IPSE is also about being able to make a difference. Over the last five years, I’ve seen us do amazing things for the people we represent – both our own members and all self-employed people across the UK. From fighting off inequitable tax hikes to boosting the availability of training, we’re making the UK a better place for the self-employed. And as a director, you’re vital to that.
Then, of course, there are all the skills you can develop as a director, from governance and financial management to strategy and marketing. Whatever your professional background, you will be certain to pick up new skills.
It also opens you up to new experiences you simply wouldn’t have elsewhere – especially with an organisation like IPSE, which is growing exponentially in scope and influence. I don’t think the chair before me, James Collings, for example, ever imagined that joining the board would lead him to be advising a congressional hearing in Washington DC. But that’s where he found himself a couple of years ago, and being a director creates many unexpected and amazing opportunities like that.
Of course, you need to be able to show that you have some pretty advanced skills and talents to get elected in the first place. Our directors must have real business acumen, strong strategic skills and a good understanding of financial planning and budgeting. You don’t need to have been on the board of a FTSE 100 company, of course: you just need some evidence of these skills. And more than that, you need to be committed to IPSE’s principles, have real integrity and be genuinely collegiate in the way you work.
Our directors have a hugely important role in IPSE and have ultimate legal responsibility for the business, ensuring we comply with company law, employment law and all other regulations. As members of the Board, they also have a fiduciary duty – collectively and individually – to IPSE and its members.
If all that sounds daunting, don’t be discouraged. IPSE’s Directors don’t fit the stuffy stereotype! In fact, for our Board elections this year we’re keen to hear from the widest range of people – across the full breadth of IPSE’s membership. Our Board leads and represents IPSE, so we think it’s essential that it also reflects our organisation’s ever-more diverse membership.
That’s why, if you’re an IPSE member, with at least some of the skills and experience we’re looking for, I’d urge you to nominate yourself for election to the IPSE Board. To put yourself forward, visit our website About Us section.
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