More Reasons Why Women Might Consider Boards

  • Women owned businesses, while increasing in numbers, are not growing in standard measures as fast as they could. When measured by average annual sales/firm and by employees/employer firm, women-owned businesses (51% owned) do about half as well as 50-50% male-female owned firms. Boards of directors are an important tool that can help women-owned businesses think strategically about growing their firms through expansion or acquisition.
  • Women entrepreneurs represent a major source of potential corporate board candidates -- research into the qualifications, education, and skills sets of women on California-based Fortune 1000 firms shows that corporate boards must tap the executive ranks of women-owned businesses if they want diversity and inclusion on their boards. The reason is that there are so few women in chief executive roles at top public corporations: only 9 in the top Fortune 500 and another 10 in the Fortune 501-1000 ranks.
  • Women need to think about establishing boards, building boards, and being on boards -- not when they are 50 or 60 or 70 years of age -- but when they are 20 or 30 or 40 years of age. They need to start including board role qualifications into their career planning and strategic personal development planning early.
  • Women with technology backgrounds are an asset to today's boards of directors; women with international experience are an asset; women with financial experience are an asset; women with breadth of operational experience are an asset. If women don't have these skills in their current bag of tricks, they need to start acquiring those credits, in addition to the specific training required by today governance and director challenges.
  • Women (and men) perpetuate a lot of "myths" about board roles -- such as the idea that non-profit board experience will get them on a board; that senior women will mentor them onto a board; and so on. Women need to understand the reality of today's boards -- public, private small business, or non-profit boards.
  • Finally, if women-owned businesses don't put other women on their boards of directors, how can we expect men to put women on their boards of directors?