Women on Boards
Driving Gender Diversity in the Boardroom
Forté Foundation, in partnership with its sponsoring business schools and companies, supports the advancement of women into corporate board positions. Forté is the only organization in the US that connects the leading business schools around the topic of women in business. Tapping this network of highly successful women who have corporate board potential will increase access and provide transparency into the selection process. Our goal is to build a list of board-ready women and bring attention to the lack of women on corporate boards.
Are You Board-Ready?
To be formally considered for the Global Board-Ready Women list:
- Review the Quantitative and Qualitative criteria listed below.
- If your background matches the criteria, email a link to your LinkedIn Profile and the email address where you wish to be contacted.
- The nominating committee will review your submission and contact you with next steps.
To learn more about the process for being included in Forté’s
Board-Ready initiative, download the Board Ready Question and Answer.
Many business schools offer board member training and certification, like
this annual 3-day program at UCLA Anderson School of Management.
The European Professional Women’s Network offers
helpful tips on readying yourself for a board position, albeit from a European
Intrabond Capital offers resources for board
certification and training, and matching potential board members to board
Other Advocacy Groups
Assessment and Training for Board-Readiness
All women on the list should have at least five years’ experience in one or a combination of the following roles:
- Chair and/or non-executive director of listed or private corporations
- Chief Executive Officer, COO, CFO and other C-suite executive or director level appointments in listed or private corporations
- Family member and controlling shareholder of boards of large family companies
- Director of government agencies
- Director of non-profit organizations
- Institutional investment community senior professional
- Professional firms senior partner serving boards and their committees as clients
The women on the list should be able to demonstrate that they are financially literate. Profit & Loss experience is advantageous, given that some large companies have this as a pre-requisite for board roles.
In addition, the Task Force believes that candidates on the list should be practitioners of excellence in corporate governance. This suggests the following qualities:
- Articulate communicator and good listener
- High level of emotional intelligence ability to understand the dynamics of the boardroom, how to deal with conflict when it arises
- Ability to self-assess
- Can enhance contribution through feedback
- Can lead when appropriate, but aware of collective responsibility and engagement
- Can challenge constructively and be supportive when necessary
- Sharp mind and good judgment
- Self-confident without being dogmatic
- Understand the importance of independence
- Courage to stand up for that which is in the best interests of the company
- Understand how to add value to a board
- Team player
Women on the list will also be expected to have made a conscious commitment to assume the role and responsibility of corporate governance in a publicly quoted company.
More about the European Commission
European Business Schools have joined force with the European Commission, led by Vice President Vivian Reding and supported by McKinsey research, to play a prominent role in identifying and promoting qualified senior female leadership and enabling women to tap into professional networks to increase the flow of women in business schools and focus on capability building. The initiative was launched with a Call to Action on 5 December 2011 and the European Business Schools produced their first list on 7 March 2012 (http://www.edhec.com/html/Communication/doc-womenboard/BoardReadyWomen.pdf).