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Women on Corporate Boards

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.

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