How CRE Women Can Get on Boards

Carrie Rossenfeld Professional Services

According to marketing firm TW2, California’s new law requiring at least one woman on publicly traded companies’ boards of directors has many women excited by the opportunity the law creates but also unsure about how to get on a board or even if they are qualified. TW2’s Teresa Warren recently attended a program put on by the North San Diego Business Chamber on “What Will It Take to Get More Women on Boards?” She walked away with these suggestions:

1. Nonprofit and private boards are a great place to get the experience and training needed to serve on a public company’s board.

2. Update your bio so your functional expertise is showcased.

3. Select five to 10 companies on whose boards you’d like to serve and where you can add value. Call the CEO and set up a meeting, or contact a recruiter. Some companies are looking beyond their contacts and hiring recruiting firms to find good board candidates.

4. Don’t be concerned about being the only woman on the board — this is your opportunity to speak up and let your voice be heard as well as put your hard-earned skills to good use. You blazing this trail will help all women.

5. Don’t underestimate your value and your experience. Have self-confidence and believe in yourself.

The last point is one that was emphasized in a recent BMC Dialogue Series event “Take Control of Your Career; Strategies for Empowerment,” as SoCal Real Estate reported. The event, sponsored by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego School of Business, addressed what gets in the way of empowerment that leads to career success. Lindley said empowerment is defined as the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life. Accepting this definition enabled her to relax about the word “confident” because she realized that becoming confident and empowered was a process and that it did not mean being perfect.