Strengthen and enrich your career
while leveraging your strategic and financial skills.
Inforum BoardAccess™ provides resources, support and networking opportunities for women who are qualified for seats on public and private corporate boards today and in the future. The initiative is expected to help retain Michigan’s top female executive talent, enhance corporate decision-making processes and improve board diversity.
Applications are accepted all year long.
One-on-one coaching helps qualified senior executives chart a personal course for board service. Five BoardAccess™ coaching and pre-work sessions with a board mentor are tailored to fit a busy executive’s schedule and provide an action-oriented, flexible framework for building a “board brand.”
Exclusive networking opportunities connect qualified candidates with CEOs, current board directors, executive recruiters and other advocates for advice and support on the road to corporate board service.
Informational sessions broaden attendees’ perspectives on board service and career decisions that may enhance future board credentials.
National reach and influence means BoardAccess™ participants benefit from Inforum’s connection to national efforts and research to advance gender diversity on corporate boards.
Articles of Interest
Are There Really Boards With no Women?
Forbes – Tue, Aug 2, 2011
Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women
Article from the June 2011 Harvard Business Review
Speech by SEC Commissioner: Remarks at the DirectWomen Board Institute
By Commissioner Elisse B. Walter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission New York, N.Y. February 10, 2011
2010 Board of Directors Survey
Heidrick & Struggles and WomenCorporateDirectors, in conjunction with Boris Groysberg of Harvard Business School, surveyed men and women corporate directors and found striking differences, as well as predictable similarities, in how the 398 respondents think about these and other critical issues facing boards today.
2011 Michigan Women’s Leadership Index
The Michigan Women’s Leadership Index (WLI) is released biennially by Inforum Center for Leadership – the research and education arm of Inforum. The WLI is a data-based instrument used to measure the presence of women executives in the highest leadership positions of the top 100 publicly-held companies headquartered in Michigan (Index 100).
Calvert Study: Corporate Diversity Still Coming Up Short for Women
Women may make up more than half the workforce, but continue to be significantly underrepresented on corporate boards and in C-level executive positions, according to a study released by Calvert Investments.
Results of Menendez’s Major Fortune 500 Diversity Survey: Representation of Women and Minorities On Corporate Boards Still Lags Far Behind National Population
August 4, 2010 – Menendez Press Office: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Democratic Task Force, today unveiled the results of his survey on women and minority representation among the senior management of Fortune 500 companies. The survey found that women and minority representation on corporate boards continues to lag far behind the national population percentages.
Changing the Face in U.S. Corporate Boards
June 28, 2010 – Wall Street Journal: CalPERS commissioned a report which found that companies that have diverse boards perform better than those with similar director profiles in terms of ethnicity, gender and skill sets. Now they are recruiting executives to nominate for board seats in poorly performing companies in which it holds shares.
Terry Barclay: Diverse Boards Are Good for Business
Feb. 28, 2010 – The new disclosure rules,adopted by the SEC require public companies to make new disclosures to shareholders about many things. Most notably from Inforum’s perspective, companies now will be required to provide information about the role diversity plays in considering and selecting board candidates. We think that is a good thing.
SEC Changes Help Women in the Boardroom
Feb 2, 2010 – The Glass Hammer: In July of 2009, the U.S. SEC proposed a number of revisions to their rules. These amendments were designed to improve the amount of disclosure shareholders of public companies receive. One organization that responded to the SEC’s rule revisions was ION.
Organizations and Other Resources
The Board of Directors Network
An organization of women and men representing boards of directors, corporations, government agencies, academia, the legal and financial professions, not-for-profit organizations, and the media seeking to influence public companies to further the advancement of women in the boardroom and executive suites.
Prepares women and ethnically diverse men for corporate board service. Their TWO day Pipeline Seminar is an “early-start,” director-candidate development program.
The leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. Catalyst’s practices and services includes Corporate Board Services, which assists women in determining whether serving on a board is right for them.
Center for Executive Women
Kellogg School of Management
Offers training on corporate governance and programs for women directors
Corporate Board Member magazine
An information resource for senior officers and directors of publicly traded corporations, top private companies, and Global 1000 firms.
Directors and Boards magazine
A publication with a mission to help management and the board have the most productive relationship possible – so that great value is created for the company and its shareholders.
Free Complete Tool Kit for Boards
A comprehensive library on the workings of both nonprofit and corporate boards.
Foley & Lardner National Directors Institute
Forum for public and private company directors and executives interested in the latest trends affecting boardrooms across the country.
ION, the InterOrganization Network
A national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women on for-profit boards and in executive suites. Representing approximately 10,000 women, ION helps build awareness, opportunities and connections by creating a national voice for its 14 regional member organizations.
National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)
A national non-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to serving the corporate governance needs of corporate boards and individual board members.
Provides an insiders guide on how to be selected and introduces you to experienced directors and search executives who will share with you “lessons learned” along the way.
Women Corporate Directors
A rapidly growing international community of women who serve as directors of corporations.They are committed to sharing the best practices of corporate governance and discussing the challenges of conducting business in a highly competitive and volatile global economy.
Women in the Boardroom Event
Executive leadership events held around the country designed to assist in the preparation for board service – better qualifying and connecting attendees with the right resources.
Self Evaluation Tools for Board Readiness
- Profit and loss responsibility (true P&L experience with revenue or sales targets, not just a cost center P&L, ideally 3-5x the revenue of the company you’re hoping to serve as a board member)
- Subject matter expertise relevant to the target company
- Legal, financial, and/or Sarbanes-Oxley experience
- Chief Executive Officer
- Division President
- Advisory Board experience with a private company
- Board of Directors experience with a private company
- Non-Profit Board of Directors or Board of Advisors experience
Self Evaluation Surveys
Here are some tips to determine if a board opportunity is right for you?
- Investigate Directors & Officers insurance limits, especially what and how much it covers to know if it is enough.
- Meet as many of the board members as you can to ensure there is good chemistry. The key for a successful board experience is chemistry with the other members and Chairman. If you don’t have that, your tenure could be rocky.
- Gain a clear understanding of the specific skills the committee is looking for. Convince the board you posses them.
- Ask questions to determine how well the board works together. Try to ascertain where potential the land mines may be. How do decisions get made?
- Research which board members are exiting and why.
400 Renaissance Center, Suite 2155
Detroit, Michigan 48243
Thank you to General Motors Co. for the generous gift of office space.
118 Commerce SW, Ste. 300b
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503