Stacey Daniel

Engineers on Boards

Founder, Board Presence; BE (Geological, Environmental), RMIT; Fellow of Engineers Australia; Chartered Engineer

Founder of advisory group Board Presence Stacey Daniel FIEAust CPEng believes that corporate boards need more engineers among their make-up.

“There is a need for trust in leadership and evidence-based decision-making,” she says.

“Research shows engineers are one of the most trusted professions behind doctors, nurses and teachers. They also hold desirable characteristics and traits, valued in top positions because of their analytical, problem-solving and collaborative skills for information-based decisions.”

So why do boards have so few engineers?

Daniel says engineers are held back because they might not fully understand boards, they have a perception that boards are exclusive or for highly experienced people, or they lack confidence.

“Research shows engineers are one of the most trusted professions behind doctors, nurses and teachers."

In response, she has developed a range of tools to encourage engineers to consider board work, to help improve decision-making and to work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“As an example of a short, young, female engineer with experience sitting on boards, I have drawn upon and shared my own story as a means of inspiring other engineers and those from diverse backgrounds,” she says.

“I developed a range of avenues to get my message out into the engineering profession. I solely prepared and delivered two engineering conference presentations, developed an online course, mentored engineers and have written a book for prospective directors.”

That book, Fly to the Boardroom, aims to inform, guide and inspire a new generation of directors and was released in March. Daniel also presented her expertise at the World Engineers Convention and the Sustainable Cities Conference.

Board Presence has helped engineers by providing information about board work, sharing an appreciation of what opportunities there are and helping to build confidence. Ultimately, she expects board stakeholders and the broader public to benefit from more suitable engineers being appointed to boards, given their relevant traits and skills.

Judges’ comments:

“Great concept. There are extensive potential benefits to communities, organisations and the engineering profession if the projects is able to make a difference.”

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