Boardroom Ready
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Executive Women In Bio (EWIB) champions for greater diversity and is committed to supporting female leadership through professional development programs. EWIB strives to be a foundational resource for women in executive roles, by fostering achievement and empowering women to be the best leaders and influencers they can be through formal education, training, and structured networking. Annually, EWIB offers the Boardroom Ready program, a competitive, intensive board competency-building curriculum at George Washington University that refines skills and increases preparedness for the responsibilities related to serving on both public and private boards. 


The Executive Board Gap

The 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index showed that 19.8% of Fortune 1000 corporate directors were women, yet the evidence overwhelmingly shows that companies with more diversity at the highest levels see a higher return on investment overall. (Catalyst report “Why Diversity Matters” )

It’s time that companies took advantage of this untapped pool of qualified board candidates. It’s time that we increased the number of women who serve on corporate boards.

Boardroom Ready Overview

Boardroom Ready is Executive Women In Bio’s exclusive executive development platform, designed to fuel women’s participation on corporate boards in the life sciences.

Initially developed within industry by Biogen, WIB’s Boardroom Ready is uniquely positioned to prepare exceptionally qualified women for board service through its targeted curriculum and comprehensive approach. The platform is grounded in an intensive, in-person program that highlights the challenges specific to governing life sciences corporations through case study analysis. Further, it offers networking, ongoing programming focused on current industry issues, and development opportunities to give participants every advantage in achieving their goal of board service.

Key Boardroom Ready Platform Offerings:

·         5-day board certification course comprising of one 2.5 day session taught by George Washington University’s Executive Education School and one interactive Applied Learning session

§  Participants gain a deep understanding of the commitments, duties, operation, and best practices when participating on public and private company boards

§  Specialized course content curated over seven years based upon participant feedback and evolving industry needs

§  Open to only twenty candidates per year in order to foster robust discussions, maintain strong connections, and foster a high level of individual participation.

·         Ongoing networking and 1-on-1 mentorship with seasoned board members

·         Unparalleled peer group

·         Professional resume writer to develop and prepare board-focused CV 

·         Partnership with corporate board recruiters and select corporations, including Biogen and founding partner LifeSci Advisors

·         Invitation to annual alumnae retreat for continued development, networking with other Boardroom Ready graduates, and access to board members and recruiters

Candidates are leaders from across the biotech and pharma industries (2020 Boardroom Ready class pictured above)

Who Should Apply

·         Senior women executives with substantive experience within the life sciences industry who have a strong interest in serving as a corporate director

§  Successful applicants typically have held senior leadership or managerial roles, e.g. Senior VP equivalent or above

§  Organizational areas of expertise have included (but are not limited to): Operations, finance, R&D, marketing, business development, and legal

·         Requires current WIB membership and an interest in continued involvement with WIB (e.g. either through Executive Women In Bio (EWIB), local chapter involvement, sponsorship, or mentorship)  

Sample Programming Content

(Note: Representative, not exhaustive)

  • Audit Committee
  • Compliance
  • Cybersecurity
  • Negotiation
  • Fundraising & Financing through IPO
  • Legal Liability
  • Crisis Management
  • Shareholder Activism 
  • Networking strategies and advice regarding interviewing for boards


Meet the Current Class

Congratulations to our 2020 Boardroom Ready class members.

Participant Success

Below are examples of boards on which former participants of Boardroom Ready currently hold seats:


Watch past participants share their experiences, or read more below:

“Boardroom Ready created an incredible opportunity for our cohort to learn from subject matter experts while layering in our own, very concrete, day-to-day experiences in biotech. More importantly, each of us came away from the program with an expanded network of women who are experts in their area and who we know, without question, we can call on for advice and counsel going forward.” - Jzaneen Lalani, BR 2016 Candidate

“I am pleased that so many important stakeholders who are responsible for identifying board candidates are looking to source from WIB’s Boardroom Ready. This is the best testament to the value the participants bring and the quality of the program.” - Mary Thistle, BR 2016 Candidate

“The unique approach of WIB’s Boardroom Ready is that it works on the point of greatest impact: activating our own networks for a Board seat search and working in a directed way with [WIB’s] networks facilitate our entry into pools for Board seat consideration. Being part of the program is a way to advertise that you are not only boardroom ready, but also actively looking for a board seat and that can be hard to do organically.” – Sofija Jovic, BR 2016  Candidate 

Past Participants

Admissions Process

The application period for the 2020 Boardroom Ready cohort has closed.  More information about the 2021 Boardroom Ready program application process will be available in January 2021


Selection process:

  • Applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee comprised of corporate board members and professionals involved in corporate board member selection
  • Selection Committee participants have included:
    • A Founding Partner of an investor relations consultancy firm
    • A Principal in a biotechnology consulting group with over twenty years of board experience
    • The Chief Business Office at a molecular diagnostics company
    • The President and CEO of a laboratory equipment company
    • A top life science executive recruiter

Participation Details

Time Commitment:This year’s program has been restructured to allow less travel time for women to attend the Boardroom Ready events and the Annual Boardroom Ready Alumnae Reunion. This year’s program has 3 components:

-       Classroom Component: two-and-a-half-day board certification course will be held at George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) from September 23-25, 2020

-       Applied Learnings: An additional two-day executive board education course will be held in San Francisco on November 4-5, 2020

-       Boardroom Ready Annual Alumnae Retreat: Immediately following the Applied Learning session will be our 4th annual Boardroom Ready Alumnae retreat. All graduates of the Boardroom Ready program are invited to attend a yearly retreat which features high profile board members, board-recruiters, and targeted networking with past participants of the Boardroom Ready program.  This year’s retreat will take plan in San Francisco on November 3 so that the 2020 BR Class can attend without additional travel time.

-       Applicants will be expected to attend and fully participate in all sessions. While in attendance, it is understood that the participant will be free of other duties and will not leave except in emergency situations. Please arrange your schedule accordingly.

Outreach efforts and networking events will be held throughout the year in cities around the country.  

Participation Fees:$5,500

  • Includes fees associated with the George Washington University certification course, including most meals
  • Professional individualized board CV created by leading board coach and resume writer
  • Admission to Boardroom Ready Alumnae Retreat

Please note: Boardroom Ready participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses to attend Boardroom Ready events, including the board certification course at George Washington University and the applied learning course and retreat in San Francisco. Participants will be responsible for arranging their travel and accommodations independently.

External Support: Boardroom Ready Sponsorship & Coaching

Become a Boardroom Sponsor

WIB’s Boardroom Ready platform is looking for financial sponsors to support and maintain this initiative.

Become a Boardroom Mentor

WIB is seeking Boardroom Mentors from the life sciences industry to serve as one-on-one coaches and sponsors for a matched Boardroom Ready candidate. Boardroom Mentors play an important role in the program, offering guidance, encouragement, and experience-based strategies for networking, interviewing, and assessing the fit of a potential board seat.  Mentors must have experience serving on a corporate board as well as enthusiasm for the Boardroom Ready program. 

For more information about how to become a Boardroom Mentor, please email