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Ways for Women to Position Themselves for Boards

  • 29th May'22

It goes without saying that women had (and still have) the most demanding road to attain board positions. In the corporate world, you may have heard a lot about what a person should do to rise in the ranks. From hard work to brilliant work to being creative and building bonds with colleagues and seniors, a lot has been said about being appointed toa board of directors. But it is so rare to see women as board members.

The struggles of women in the workplace are well documented and well known. Many do not even come from a lack of talent or skills but from discrimination and prejudice. It has a lot to do with how women have been perceived in society as homemakers and not someone who is a trailblazer and taking a company to great heights. And while the perception has changed somewhat, women still find it difficult to position themselves on boards.

So, I did a lot of digging on the subject, used my experience as a woman myself, and figured out a possible solution. Now, before you start reading further, let me tell you that this is not a sure-shot answer to your calling as a board member, but it is the best you can do. Therefore, let's check out some practical ways for women to position themselves for boards.


Ways for Women to Position Themselves for Boards

Some people suggest that women need to be ruthless and show aggression towards chasing their board's dream. There are even people to tell you to drop your empathetic nature toward women and so on.

Let me clarify one thing; you don't have to change anything that makes you a woman. You can stay an empathetic person and a great board member and even be a hardcore lady and a brilliant board memberof directors. All you must do is make necessary adjustments, and here are they:


Work on Your Network

Focus on your word-of-mouth network and ask yourself, "how familiar are you with the CEOs and sitting board members?" Do you go to them and ask for time for one conversation to discuss your interest and remind them of what you can bring aboard. Also, you can even pitch them to keep you on top of mind? " "Besides this, stay involved and ask them questions about the company and its goals. After aAll, they want directors who can add exciting questions and perspectives to the board.


Build Your Network With Male CEOs

Get yourself in a network of male CEOs. I know it's a difficult pill to swallow but it is what it is. Looking at data and analytics, you will notice that male members occupy most board seats. So, it becomes impossible to make progress at your board dreams without the partnerships of men who hold the vast majority of board seats. The men you speak and discuss things with consistently can become your voice to get you a board position. Therefore, work on networking with men always.


Stay Active

Many CEOs today understand the importance of having women on the board, and they know how a single woman's perspective can distinguish between dozens of male perspectives. So, if you are part of an organization with a shortage of female board members, you may have the best chance at a board position. All you need to do is be available for it and ensure other board members know your intentioninterests.

Understand Your Board Interest

One thing you must clearly understand is serving on the board of an early-stage startup is significantlyway different from serving on the board of a Fortune 500 company. So, at the earliest, figure out your interest and select companies you want to serve as a board member. Also, before applying, try to find out what stage the company is in and think through the specifics you can add to their board.


Do Your Homework

When you decide to pursue a board position, beGo in for the board pursuitdreams well prepared. Try to gain exposure and learn from other board members about what goes on in a given boardroom. The knowledge will help you prepare better for the board positions. More importantly, it will allow you to understand which board role can suit you best. For a woman, it will become easier to deal with male board members once they know what they want on the board.


Understand the Board

Every board is different from the others, and each has its own uniqueness. Always remember this it. Accordingly, various boards of directors have diverse requirements and look for specific skill sets. Prepare yourself as per the same and try to learn more about the board you plan to acquire a board seat.


Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds achieve their careers and life aspirations. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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