THE Manly Sea Eagles have been the first club to answer the NRL's call for more women on boards by appointing Kerry Chrysiliou as a director. Chrysiliou said she hoped to bring a calming influence to a board that has been dominated by bitter infighting and a club marred by controversy this season. Their star player Brett Stewart has been charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old while Manly chief executive Grant Mayer handed in his resignation last week. Chrysiliou has stepped up from being co-owner Rick Penn's alternate director to a full-time director. Penn has stepped aside to become the alternate director. The lawyer, a long-time Manly fan, said yesterday she was delighted by her appointment. She believes more NRL clubs could do with a woman's voice. "There are many boards that could do with a female influence," Chrysiliou said. "I think women can be very settling. We can take some testosterone out of the way that some board members behave. I think it can be very beneficial to have a woman on a board. We'll see what happens." "This club, they've got the Penns that are behind them. "They are very sensible, very family orientated people, I think that sits well with the sort of team Manly is. I'd like to see that run through the board as well. Hopefully we'll get rid of the controversy and focus on the game." In a season that has been littered with off-field incidents that have rocked the code, Manly chairman Scott Penn said the Sea Eagles wanted to be an NRL club at the forefront of change by promoting a woman to the board. "From a Manly perspective we are absolutely looking at taking a leadership position on this issue," Penn said. "Obviously we haven't had the start to the year off the field that we wanted - that's happened for a variety of reasons - we now like to think we know what's happened. We just need to get on with it and certainly our fans are looking for us to take a leadership position on a number of issues and this is the first step in saying we very much want to be leaders." Rick Penn said he was happy to give up his spot on the board for Chrysiliou. "We just feel she can bring something to the board that is really important at this time," he said. "There is a lot of testosterone at board level in Australia, women are very practical, they want to get outcomes, they want to see things done properly. It's important to have women there to break down this testosterone and stop bashing each other up." Before now, there were only three women on club boards: Dawn Fraser at Wests Tigers football club, Lyn Wallace at Parramatta Leagues Club and Petra Fawcett at the Melbourne Storm.