According to a recent survey of over 380 people conducted by Roevin, 90% of respondents believe engineers should be on the board of directors.
While engineers are qualified for board positions, engineering is not typically a profession that is seen as boardroom material unlike finance, HR, marketing and other functions.
Most respondents agree that engineers can bring some important skills to the boardroom table, such as vision and the ability to quantify risks. Engineers have an insight into effective project management and how things work (a little weak), skills, which are essential around any boardroom table.
Engineers however do face a challenge, they need to increase their commercial outlook and be able to influence in order to operate at board level. If an engineer isn’t comfortable or confident in their influencing skills they will struggle to be heard at board level. Through recent survey results, it was clear communication and business know how / strategy and man -management skills also need to be developed.
So while there is an appetite for engineers to join the boardroom table, there is some way to go in developing some of the core skills required.
So what can be done to help engineers of the future make the leap to the board room? Here’s a few ideas:
- Universities need to ensure that engineers gain exposure to business challenges to increase their commercial outlook
- Employers need to consider providing leadership and management training opportunities for engineers
- Recruiters need to play a part in identifying candidates that have the potential for succession and provide them with training opportunities to up skill