Board of DirectorsSo you’ve decided you want to serve on a board of directors. Before you start off half-cocked in search of a board position, ask yourself these questions:
  • Why do I want to do this?
  • What does it really require?
  • How do I get invited?
In light of recent laws and so-called “pink quotas” to increase the number of women serving on European boards, many European boards are increasingly looking to American female business leaders to fill seats.

A recent Wall Street Journal article by Joann S. Lublin reports that European boards are pursuing American businesswomen “partly because the U.S. has a larger pool of senior executive women.”

To recap the recent mandates requiring more women on European boards:
  • In France, corporate boards must be 20% female by January 2014
Entrepreneur magazine recently released an article featuring Virgin Group business magnate Richard Branson on the need for more women in global boardrooms. Branson commented that “At Virgin, we have seen a number of women rise to senior positions over the years. At present, Virgin Money and Virgin Holidays are run by female CEOs.”

Celebrating Executive Women in Business and Women in the Board Room

In honor of the official American Business Women's Day on September 22nd, BlueSteps has launched an Executive Women in Business Initiative throughout the month of September. We will be featuring podcasts, interviews and more with female executives and executive search consultants throughout the month. In addition, we are offering 25% off BlueSteps Membership to all female executives throughout the month.

Jean Francois Manzoni (Chaired Professor of Leadership and Organizational Development at INSEAD), Paul Strebel (Sardoz Family Foundation Professor of Governance, Strategy and Change at IMD in Switzerland) and Jean-Louis Barsoux (senior research fellow at IMD) offer advice on taking advantage of board diversity and how to avoid any traps that inhibit the performance of boards when diversity is increased.

Changes in board governance are creating opportunities for executives with certain backgrounds and experience. In our most recent webinar a panel of top search consultants from across Europe and the US shared their insights into the current movements and how best to take advantage of them.

Current Hiring Conditions and Trends

The situation differs slightly across Europe but major trends are a move towards recruiting more women onto boards and candidates with international experience. What is being sought is a diversity of ideas, experience and geography.