Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Become A Successful Woman In The Boardroom

Are you a woman who wants to know how to become more successful in the boardroom?  I’m not speaking of just any boardroom.  I’m speaking of a boardroom where your presence actually counts. If you answered “yes”, grab you paper and pen and take notes because this has all you need to greet success at the boardroom door.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of representing The BOSS Network at the 2011 Women In The Boardroom Conference. The event was held in Atlanta, GA, and the theme for this year was: “Learn. Advance. Lead.” Sheila Ronning, the President and CEO of Women In The Boardroom, says “Our organization is on a mission to help women figure out if corporate board service is the right path for them.  If it is, we help with the road map to getting them on the right board.” 

The event’s panel facilitator was award-winning journalist and business owner, Cynthia Good. Have you ever heard of the Little PINK Book?  Well, Cynthia Good launched it in 2005 as a website, event series, and national magazine which now has a readership of over 650,000 women! Check it out!

The panel for the conference consisted of :  Veronica Biggins, Managing Director of Diversified Search; Janice McKenzie-Crayton, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta; and Mona Pearl, Global Entrepreneur and Strategic Developer and author of Grow Globally .  Together, the women on this panel offered a wealth of knowledge that all can benefit from. Therefore, I took my own set of notes and other resources on the conference to share with you. So, here are my “take aways” from each panelist listed below (I told you. You need paper!):

“Take Aways” from Cynthia Good:
·         Be an advocate for increasing women opportunities in representation on boards.
·         Remember servicing on a board is not a gender issue; this is a business issue and women are missing from that picture.
·         Everyone has an opportunity and women should be given just as much opportunity as men.
“Take Aways” from Veronica Biggins:
·         If you are are a business owner, you have to be open minded not narrow minded to serve on a board; corporate or non profit.
·         A firm handshake is still important and says a lot about you.
·         Use resources, like websites, and people you know to get on boards.
·         For example: or (Also mentioned Spencer Stuart, but I am not sure if this is right)
·         The best way to get on a nonprofit board is to tell them you love fund raising!
·         3 T's that are critical for a nonprofit board:  time, talent, treasure
·         You have to bring to a board form and substance.
“Take Aways” from Janice McKenzie-Crayton:
·         Your resume is not something that you need when you show up; what you're walking around with is your resume.
·         So often an organization reaches out to choose you to serve on a board and if you're out of your element, it's o.k.
·         Fake it till you make it, but be willing to learn.
·         Show up for meetings on time.
·         Ask good questions.
·         The idea of great committee work, yields great board work.
“Take Aways” from Mona's Pearl:
·         Being on a board is for people who are driven.  They want to be a part of something that is bigger.
·         If you are leaving a board, try to move diplomatically. Explain that your commitment time has ended. Or you may just choose to not be re-elected to the board. If you are getting off the board before your contract time is up, it is best to say, "Due to personal reasons, I am stepping down."
·         Remember, don't burn your bridges.
·         Boards should have insurance to cover board members.
·         Have insurance terms evaluated by an attorney (to know clearly what all the fine print is about and its terms).
·         Research more about the company before you sign on to be a board member. It is up to you to do your due diligence and find out all you can about their mission and if they are legitimate.

Now you are fully equipped with the tools to be the BOSS you were made to be! For more information on Women In The Boardroom and their upcoming events, visit .

Andrea L. Griggs is the Executive Producer and host of Females With A Mission Radio. Tune in to the show every 1st and 3rd Fridays on You may also join the Females With A Mission Fan Page on Facebook , and Follow Her Fearlessly On Twitter.