The Executive Board Gap
In 2017, 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 (split into two 2.5 day modules) taught by George Washington University’s Executive Education School
§ Participants gain a deep understanding of the commitments, duties, operation, and responsibilities of participating on public and private company boards
§ Specialized course content curated over five 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 CV and bio (new since 2017)
· Partnership with corporate board recruiters and select corporations, including Biogen, Acorda Therapeutics, Theravance Biopharma, 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 (2017 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. 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 EWIB, local chapter involvement, sponsorship, or mentorship)
Sample Programming Content
(Note: Representative, not exhaustive)
- Audit Committee
- Boardroom Strategy
- D&O Insurance
- Fundraising & Financing through IPO
- Legal Liability
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
The application deadline for the 2018 Boardroom Ready program has passed. Applications for the 2019 Boardroom Ready program will be available at the end of this year.
- Applications will be reviewed by a Selection Committee comprised of corporate board members and professionals involved in corporate board selection
- Past 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 recruiter
- Response date for the 2018 Applicants: Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committee’s decisions by July 1st, 2018
Time Commitment: A five-day board certification course (split into two 2.5 day modules) will be held at George Washington University (Washington, D.C.):
- September 11-13, 2019
- October 23-25, 2019
Applicants will be expected to attend and fully participate in both 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. Boardroom Ready participants are strongly encouraged to attend a once yearly alumnae retreat.
Participation Fees: $5,000
- Includes fees associated with the George Washington University certification course, including most meals
- Professional individualized board CV and bio created by leading board coach and resume writer
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. 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.
Sponsorship packages can be found here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.