Evelyn Dilsaver, Kaye Foster, Betsy Sutter, Teresa Briggs, and Wendy Beecham gave real-life examples and powerful information about what it's like to be in a corporate board seat. We are poised and ready to get more women on corporate boards after our event this week.
Here are highlights of helpful, sometimes surprising, new perspective:
Define your value proposition, the boards you are seeking, and how your area of knowledge impacts other industries.
Only 30% of board seats are placed by recruiters, the rest are through relationships and networking, so network, network, network!
Build a diverse portfolio of experience so you can offer more than your functional skill set.
Assess the risks: the lack of fiscal privacy, the scrutiny, the time commitment, the risk of being sued, your reputation being on the line.
Earlier in your career be on advisory boards and/or nonprofit boards to gain experience, and then move towards corporate boards.
Private company boards are the most fun. You spend less time on governance and process, there's more discussion of strategy and greater opportunity for impact.
Don't doubt yourself! Stand by your opinions and decisions.
New Research Results
by Amanda Kimball, UC Davis
The software sector has the greatest proportion of women directors (15.5%). San Francisco Bay Area companies have 14.5% women directors and 10.9% women among their highest-paid executives. Tech companies have heard the call to action and are now leading the way with gender-diverse boards. Female CEOs lead more gender-diverse companies, however the companies with the most diversity on their board are actually led by men. Men play a key role in being allies and changing corporate culture.