Close this search box.
Close this search box.

7 Secrets to Getting on a Corporate Board

Want to stand out in the crowd of successful CEOs when looking for a board position? Those with tech experience -- cloud, data analytics, cybersecurity, etc. -- are in high demand, says Nancy Calderon, Global Lead Partner at KPMG LLP and board member of KPMG’s Global Delivery Center Ltd in India.

Calderon, along with Susan Stautberg, CEO and cofounder of WomenCorporateDirectors, has coauthored the book, Women on Board: Insider Secrets to Getting on a Board and Succeeding as a Director.

“As corporate boards are opening themselves up to more diverse slates of director candidates, there is a window of opportunity for those seeking to get on a board,” Stautberg says.

As CEOs are usually limited to serving on one outside board, Calderon says that companies are casting a wider net. What are they looking for specifically? Calderon and Stautberg interviewed dozens of board chairmen, nominating committee members, and other directors for their book and have come up with 7 tips for helping CEOs secure board seats.

For example, understanding the skills needed at the moment are paramount. “Always wanted is experience as a CEO, CFO, or CPA,” Calderon says, “but other areas currently trending are expertise in CAMS (Cloud, Analytics, Mobility and/or Social Media) and other technology experience, such as data security, that are board hot-button issues.”In addition, boards want to see global experience, as well as a background outside the C-suite.The authors caution that being selected can take upwards of two years, so be patient, and choose wisely. “A Fortune 100 company isn’t likely to be your first board, unless you are the CEO of another Fortune 100 company,” says Calderon. “Small, for-profit companies and advisory boards are great starting places.”

Women on Board: Insider Secrets to Getting on a Board and Succeeding as a Director


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.