“I’m a believer that you should start finding a board seat while you’re still relevant in the business community you serve.”

~ Patti Dismukes, WIT Board President 

A program designed to provide women with the skills required to be on a board.

  • Gender diversity in the boardroom is linked to better performance but the majority of boards are still dominated by men
  • Though we are seeing these statistics improving in 2019, we still have a gender diversity gap and need to continue the WIT Mission of empowering girls all the way from the classroom to the boardroom
  • A critical need for inclusive leadership in the US exists and investor pressure has increased the focus on diversity in the c-suite and on boards
  • Forward-thinking boards are determining ways to gain more diversity of background, experience and thought in the boardroom. Do we have a pipeline ready for this?
“Boards need digital, data and security experts now more than ever.”
~ Patti Dismukes

The WIT Board Readiness™ Program aims to continue to support the successes being achieved by women in STEAM and further address the gender gaps that exists on Boards by building a caliber of candidates available for Board selection.

  • The program is designed for women who desire to apply their personal and professional skills to becoming a successful Board Director for a Board, Start Up, VC Funded, Non-Profit Boards, etc.
  • The program will offer a range of benefits including valuable hands-on practical workshops, knowledge about being on a board, personal guidance on how to market yourself, expert advice on positioning your executive profile and how to network
  • The WIT Board Readiness program will be offered in a small group capped at 20 participants per offering
  • The application process will be competitive and based on an assessment of the applicant’s skills and experience along with their suitability to take on a Board role in the near future
  • Companies can sponsor their top performers to attend the program




The WIT Board Readiness™ program is a short-term certification course designed for female leaders in STEAM, offered in a small group format capped at 20 participants that are interested in being on a corporate, VC funded, start up or non-profit board. The application process is competitive and is based on an assessment of the applicant’s skills and experience along with their suitability to take on Board roles in the future. WIT reserves the right to reduce the participant cap in the event that candidates of sufficient quality cannot be placed. The WIT Board’s decision on candidate selection will be final. Every candidate that is declined acceptance into the program is given the opportunity to reapply at a later class offering.

Criteria for the program:

  • Looking to join a board in the next 1-5 years
  • 5+ years’ experience in leadership of a business or a component of a business relevant to your industry background
  • Core Competencies:
    • Team-Oriented
    • Interpersonal Skills: Communication, Relational, Influence, and Reputation
    • Personal Leadership Skills
    • Technical Skills: Information Technology, Marketing, Information Security, Coding & Programming, Big Data, Agile, Product Management, etc. (Minimum of 1 required) 
    • Personal Attributes: Integrity, Commitment and Capacity 
  • Direct P/L responsibility
  • Demonstrates readiness to complete the program (based on assessment of application and CV)
  • Commitment to Women in Technology and its objectives

Selection Committee Process:

The selection process is very competitive. Each year approximately 20 women are selected to participate in the WIT Board Readiness™ Program. A selection committee, made up of experts in the board selection process will review and evaluate each application. As part of your application to this program, you will be required to provide a letter of recommendation from a senior leader and will be asked to go through an interview process with the selection committee. While there is no special formula for what the selection committee looks for, successful applicants will have extensive industry expertise as well as experiences and traits that are desirable for a wide variety of boards.

Program Objectives:

  • Build your readiness for a board position
  • Explore how different types of corporate boards function
  • Examine the best practices of high-functioning boards
  • Gain insight into the roles of board members and committees
  • Pursue a board position
  • Understand the politics and pitfalls of corporate networks
  • Raise your profile among executive search firms and nominating committees
  • Match your skills and talents to the board’s specific needs
  • Expand your personal and professional network

Program Timeline

Every module is covered in a 2-hour meeting

  • Applications Open: February 7, 2022
  • Applications Close: June 3, 2022
  • WIT Board ReadinessTM Program acceptance letters received:  June 24, 2022
  • Payment is due from program participants:  July 11, 2022

Curriculum: All Modules will be taught virtually

  • Module 1: The role of the board defined- July 13, 2022- Led by Laura Miller
    • Curriculum Review
    • How do boards work
    • The role of the director and the board
    • How do board searches work
    • Being on a Board. Special Guest Speaker: Marianne Johnson, Chief Product Officer Cox Automotive 
  • Module 2: Learn the language of the board- July 27, 2022- Led by Marianne Johnson 
    • Learn the language of the board
    • Understand corporate governance & committees
    • Best practices of high-functioning boards
  • Module 3: Know your brand and be real – August 24, 2022- Led by Marva Bailer
    • Build your value proposition
    • Know how to pitch your value proposition
    • Build out your compelling executive profile
  • Module 4: Complete executive profile – September 14, 2022 – Led by Marva Bailer
  • Module 5: How to find the right board for you – October 5, 2022- Led by Patti Dismukes and DeWayne Griffin
    • How to navigate the board interview
    • Examine emerging challenges and trends in technology, innovation, risk and controls
  • Updated CV’s and BIO’s are due- October 5, 2022
  • Module 6:  Mock Board Interviews – October 2022 through November 2022-Led by Maryfran Johnson, CEO and Founder of Maryfran Johnson Media and Author, “Boardroom Bound” series @ CIO.com
  • Graduation Reception: Dinner and special speaker – October 12, 2022
    • Special Guest Speaker:  TBD

Program Costs:

  • $3,000 Individual Fee (must be a WIT Member)
  • Fees will be due once selected for the program and before the first day of class
  • Become a WIT Member for FREE 

Program Costs:

Corporate Sponsorship:


Women now hold a historic 22.6% of the Board Seats

2020: Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index for companies in the R3000 Index
2019-2020-change-in-board-seats stats

Board Turnover

Since 2012 we have observed that boards have been adding seats to accommodate women rather than waiting for male directors to step down. This year, 469 companies added 523 board seats to accommodate women. Overall, women gained 902 seats.

While men had a net loss of 470 board seats, men are still chosen to join boards more frequently than women. In 2019, 42% of the board seats went to women and 36% of the board seats went to women in the first half of 2020.

2020: Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index for companies in the R3000 Index

Have a question about the program?

Class Instructors


Patti Dismukes

Cognizant Softvision

WIT Board President

Marva Bailer

Marva Bailer


Global Sales Leader-High Technology
WIT Advisory Council
Board Member | Strike Ready

Marva Bailer

Marianne Johnson

Cox Automotive

Chief Product Officer

Laura Miller

Laura Miller

Macy’s, Inc.

Chief Information Officer

Laura Miller

DeWayne Griffin

State Farm

Vice President and Chief Data Officer

WIT Board Readiness™ Founders


Patti Dismukes

HUNTER Technical

WIT Board President

Jean Holley

Jean Holley

Board of Directors

Senior Executive, CIO
Board of Directors | OneSpan & Herc Holdings

Marva Bailer

Marva Bailer


Global Sales Leader-High Technology
WIT Advisory Council
Board Member | Strike Ready

2021 Graduating Class

Jessica Agahi

VP Product Management


Britt Amos

Chief Human Resources Officer

GloriFi Official

Amy Auriemma

Head of Business Transformation

Micro Focus

Diana Caplinger

EVP, Head of Intelligent Automation, Client Relationship Management & Personalization


Sukai Crook

VP of Information Technology

Honeywell Aerospace

Melinda Doster

General Counsel and Head of HR

Paya, Inc.

D’Lovely Gibson

SVP, Technology Planning & Execution


Vicki Hamilton


VWH Consulting

Missy Lawson

SVP, iCTO Payments, Risk, Dgital Banking


Lo Yu Li

Managing Vice President

Capital One

Cecilia Mao

Chief Product Officer


Andra Milender



Joy Millard

Business Information Security Advisor – International & Mobility

COX Automotive

Kanyatta Walker

VP, Digital Enterprise Solutions Operating Officer


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