New scholarship for leaders with disability

Monday, 24 January 2022


    Leaders with disability can now apply for a new scholarship jointly announced by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Australian Network on Disability (AND).

    Fifteen full-fee scholarships in 2022 are being offered to leaders with disability to undertake either the Foundations of Directorship program or the Company Directors Course at AICD. In addition, eight months of mentoring with an Australian business leader will be provided to help maximise board career opportunities.

    Our delivery partner is the Australian Scholarships Foundation.

    One in five with disability

    This historic opportunity will support leaders with disability to increase their governance knowledge and access to board positions. 

    One in five people in Australia have a disability, however, this number is far from represented at executive and board level positions. In 2011, Australia ranked 21st out of 29 countries in the OECD - OCDE for the employment of people with disability. Since then, little has improved.  The scholarship partnership aims to remove barriers faced by leaders with disability in securing board positions by increasing their governance knowledge. The expertise of the AICD and the Australian Network on Disability will complement each other to provide a comprehensive and integrated program through actions and learnings of both leaders with disability and board directors.

    Inclusion, diversity and equity cannot be met if people with disability are not part of decisionmaking across business. Without board and executive representation, businesses are not making informed decisions with true market representation.

    Low awareness, confidence and capability of directors to welcome and include people with disability on boards; along with few opportunities for leaders with disability to access learning and networking are the main cause of this discrepancy.

    The Australian Network on Disability and AICD are excited to launch this program and start delivering change to Australian boards in the future.

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