When recruiting directors, boards tend to look for:
- Proven leadership experience;
- Specific skills or experience – for example, a financial background, international experience, position as active or retired CEO, experience in dealing with challenges faced by a company or CEO; and/or
- Network – for example, connection to potential clients.
To join a board, at a minimum we recommend send your resume to all the major recruiting firms, as most top recruiting firms offer a board placement service. Other useful resources include:
- DirectorsandBoards “provides public and private company directors, leaders and owners of multigenerational family businesses and C-suite executives with the knowledge and skills to be successful in their roles”.
- Corporate Board Member Institute’s Director Fundamentals Program is a 6-month training program for executives seeking their first public company board seat
- NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors)’s Accelerate program provides participants with “the tools, resources, and exposure that are essential to launching a successful career as a director”.
- FasterLandings offers a “Landing Board Seats” program to help candidates get on Boards.
- The Private Directors Association frequently hosts webinars on board-related topics (for example, “Board Responsibilities During a Pandemic” or “How to Market Yourself for a Board Seat.”)
- The Institute for Corporate Directors in Canada helps its members “perform their director role effectively and make an appropriate contribution in the boardroom (…) [by offering] professional development programs that provide value-added director education and learning opportunities.”
Currently, many boards are also aggressively seeking to become more diverse, as 61.4% of all board positions are still held by white men, with an average age of 63. New independent Directors are 47% women and 22% minorities.
Naturally, director compensation will vary by industry and company stage. For more data, see Spencer Stuart’s board index.
Useful resources for women and minorities seeking board seats include:
- Boardroom Bound prepares “talent in the diversity aggregate to engage in governance leadership preparation for the point in time when increasing numbers of companies make diversity and inclusionary practices a primary focus”.
- Catalyst has compiled a list of “organizations and institutions that offer programs for networking, education, leadership and community” which help executive women interested in board service.
- WCD (Women Corporate DIrectors) is “the world’s largest membership organization and community of women corporate board directors”, supporting its members in “connecting with peers and advancing visionary corporate governance”.
- FirstBoard focuses on women leaders in tech.
- Herndon Directors Institute prepares minorities and women for participation on a broad range of governing boards.
- DirectWomen seeks to “increase the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards” by “[developing] and [positioning] women attorney leaders for board service. It also serves as a resource for companies seeking qualified women board candidates.”
- Executive Leadership Council is an organization comprising current and former Black CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies. Its “Corporate Board Initiative” “builds awareness, improves readiness, and enhances the visibility of ELC members who are interested in and actively pursue corporate board service”.
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