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


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