Board Diversity: Are You an Agent of Change?

By |2021-07-08T00:13:21-04:00July 7th, 2021|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

It still surprises me that there has been little change in corporate Canada to add more women to TSX listed boards. “Either corporate Canada changes its culture, or it’ll have to justify to shareholders why it’s deliberately weakening its own bottom line.” Jennifer Stewart & Catherine Clark Women Get On Board was recently referenced in this article from the Ottawa Citizen, which speaks to the four ways to advance more women to boards: 1-Set targets 2-Develop a board skills matrix 3-Get help 4-Move the needle It has been six years since the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) implemented disclosure rules mandating that TSX-listed companies “comply or explain” their board diversity figures. The move was intended to lead to positive changes in how corporate boards recruit new board members. However, according to the recent Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt report, 2020 Diversity Disclosure Practices, just over 20% of directors serving on corporate boards in 2019 were women. This change represents only a slight increase in the average proportion of women on boards compared to prior years when the average percentage of female directors was [...]

The Power of Connection

By |2021-04-23T12:52:45-04:00March 16th, 2021|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

Did you know the power of connection can be a one of the most effective paths to accomplishing your goals in business and beyond? Specifically, the path to success is authentic connection with people in your network. However, the very idea of networking and connection can be intimidating. The good news is that connection doesn’t just happen at awkward events. In fact, it is happening right now, everywhere—online, at work, and in your social life.  Even when we are not consciously networking, we are still connecting. Meaningful connections can happen anywhere, from a virtual conference, to a LinkedIn post, to the person next to you in your yoga class. The question is: how can you connect more intentionally to build and grow your network? And once you do, how can you use the power of those connections to meet your goals? Allow me to offer a few ideas that can help. Communicate with gravitas Set your intention Be a connector Map your network Master the art of networking 1. Communicate with gravitas Whenever you talk to someone, you are connecting. That’s why [...]

Elevating Your Board Effectiveness: Emotional Intelligence in the Boardroom

By |2021-03-16T20:29:48-04:00March 16th, 2021|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

In my 20th year of serving on corporate boards, I wrote a blog called “Emotional Intelligence in the Board Room.” Today, I am writing about the topic once again as the second blog in my “Elevating Your Board Effectiveness” series. If you haven’t yet, you can read the first blog in the series here: “Finding Your Voice in the Board Room.” The reason that I am reintroducing the topic of emotional intelligence is that in my decades of  board service, I have observed that emotional intelligence is one of the most important and least discussed boardroom skills. What is emotional intelligence? According to Daniel Goleman, the American psychologist who popularized the concept, emotional intelligence is “the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.” According to a Korn Ferry Institute study, “high emotional intelligence defines the most successful leaders and is at the heart of the best-run companies.” [...]

Elevating Your Board Effectiveness: Finding Your Voice in the Boardroom

By |2021-03-16T20:27:17-04:00March 16th, 2021|Getting Board-Ready|

When corporate board have gender diversity, businesses see better results. For example, a Canadian study of 6,000 boards found that gender-balanced boards have more varied viewpoints and lead to higher effectiveness and decreased financial irregularities. That’s why Women Get On Board’s mandate is to connect, promote and empower women to corporate boards. I am pleased to announce that to further Women Get On Board’s mandate, I am launching a new blog series called Elevating Your Board Effectiveness. Building on my e-book “How to Get Yourself On a Board”, the Elevating Your Board Effectiveness series will provide practical insights, intelligence and tools to empower women with the skills and confidence to lead and serve on boards. Today’s blog launches the first of the Elevating Board Effectiveness series and is about Finding Your Voice in the Boardroom.  As I wrote in my 2018 blog called “Finding Your Voice at the Boardroom Table”, it can be difficult to find your voice when you are a new board member appointed to a board that has longstanding relationships or when you are the “token” woman at the table. What’s the solution? [...]

Exploring New Board Opportunities, Being Gracious in Saying “No”

By |2019-01-07T20:30:57-05:00January 7th, 2019|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

So, you are excited you received an email or phone call asking if you would consider a board opportunity. The steps you take to determine whether you are interested or not should be particularly strategic when exploring new board opportunities. The first step, do your due diligence in making sure you understand the company, culture, any conflicts that exist, and why you were considered for the board opportunity. Refer to my blog on building your board profile here: https://womengetonboard.ca/building-your-board-profile. Make sure you know the companies or industries that you are interested in. Review their values, mission and strategy. Do they align with your skills, experiences and values? Will you add value? I always evaluate Board opportunities in three ways: 1. How can I add value? 2. Do I have a personal statement of the attributes I can bring to the board? 3. How can I use my network to make meaningful connections to grow the business? The second step, if you are interested the opportunity, you should request more information early on, including: · A detailed board [...]

Network Mapping Your Way onto a Board

By |2018-01-06T12:16:19-05:00January 6th, 2018|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready, The Power of...|

Joining a board is about fit and style. The Board wants to make sure that your style will fit in. To help them decide, think about your network and how you might be connected to any one of the Board members. This is what I call “network mapping.” Use your network to map how you might be connected to members of the Board. The more connections you have to the Board, the more comfort they can get on how you will fit in. Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions! To help you map your network, it is important to understand who can help connect you to a board opportunity. Your network can be broken into the following groups: Decision Makers: these are individuals that will make the final decision on who will join their board. These include: board members, in particular, the Chair of the Board and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Connectors: Connectors make change happen through people. These are individuals that will connect you to board members, CEOs and Executives of a company you [...]

Are You Diversifying Your Board Portfolio?

By |2021-07-05T19:23:29-04:00September 8th, 2017|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

I began my board journey without the thought of diversifying my board portfolio. In saying “board portfolio”, I am referring to the various boards you lead and serve on. These boards collectively make up your board portfolio. Analogous to your investment portfolio, you want to be strategic in developing your board portfolio to accurately reflect your risk profile and the stage/age of your career. Just like your investment portfolio, you should monitor and review your board portfolio on a regular basis to ensure you are getting a return on your board portfolio. When thinking of diversifying your board portfolio, here are three key areas for consideration: Consider the Evolution of Your Board Journey In evaluating the evolution of your board journey, you may think about the size and stage of the boards you serve on. For example, if you join the board of an emerging company, the director’s role is often weighted to a value-add role and more hands-on. As the company matures, the role may become more weighted to an oversight role. To better understand your [...]

Are You Thinking of Creating an Advisory Board?

By |2017-03-14T22:26:16-04:00March 14th, 2017|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

I'm often asked about whether an emerging company should create an Advisory Board versus forming a governance fiduciary board. My response to entrepreneurs thinking of creating an Advisory Board is to be strategic in the formation of your Advisory Board. An Advisory Board is not a Board of Directors with legal and fiduciary responsibilities. In contrast, an Advisory Board does not have any formal legal responsibilities and liabilities. Rather, an Advisory Board is created by the CEO of the company to get advice and support. Over the years I have been invited to serve on Advisory Boards & Councils and have enjoyed providing strategic advice and guidance. More recently, I had the opportunity to create an Advisory Board for Women Get On Board, consisting of members with experience and connections in governance, law, investment banking, accounting, financial services, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, professional development, and media. Thank you all for your commitment and support to help us fulfill our mandate to connect, promote and empower women to corporate boards. Five key strategic considerations when creating an Advisory Board: [...]

How to Prepare for Corporate Board Roles

By |2016-10-07T11:32:59-04:00October 7th, 2016|Corporate Board Journey, Getting Board-Ready|

The first step in getting prepared to lead and serve on a corporate board is to make a plan. As, I’ve written about before, getting board-ready is a journey. A journey where you need to be realistic in your skills, experience and value that you bring to a corporate board while acknowledging that there are lots of qualified corporate directors looking for corporate board opportunities. I’m often asked how to begin a corporate board journey. And my best advice is to ask yourself these 10 questions to help you prepare yourself to lead and serve on a corporate board: 10 Board-Ready Questions Do you have a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience in a senior executive role in the public, private, crown or not‐for‐profit sectors? Are you prepared to commit at least 200 to 300 hours per year to a corporate board role? Do you have the support of your own Board of Directors and/or senior executives to serve on a board? Do you have a formal governance certification or designation (C. Dir or ICD.D) [...]

Top 3 Tips for Building Your Board Profile

By |2016-03-16T16:26:25-04:00March 16th, 2016|Getting Board-Ready|

Getting started on your board journey includes building a board profile. So, how does one go about it?  It starts with asking yourself what your value proposition is, and what unique skills and experience you bring to a board. Here are my 3 tips for helping you build your board profile: 1. Define your unique value proposition Boards are made up of a diversity of thought with members bringing different culture, experience, gender, ethnicity, age and geographic representation. So, what is it that you can bring to an already diverse board? What is your unique board value proposition? Think of it like an "elevator pitch" where you have 10 seconds to tell someone what you bring to a board. In my case, I say that I have entrepreneurial and financial expertise with high growth and transformational companies in the technology, retail and consumer sectors. 2. Be true to what you passionate about You need to pursue organizations that deal with what you are interested in or passionate about. For myself, I am passionate about dance. When I [...]

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