WIT BOARD READINESS™ PROGRAM

"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, VP of Professional Services - HUNTER Technical, WIT Board President 

New WIT Board Readiness™ Program

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?
female-executive-board-member-sitting-at-computer


An information session will be held on August 4th at Vino Venue, a local self-serving wine bar in Atlanta. 

“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

Applications are now open. Deadline to apply is 9/3/21 at 11:59PM EST.

Details

Solution:

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

Start Your Journey Onto A Board Today

Women-In-Technology-Board-Readiness-Timeline

Program Timeline

Every module is covered in a 2-hour meeting
  • Program Introduction Kick Off: August 4 2021
  • Applications Open: August 20 2021
  • Applications Close: September 3 2021
  • Interview Invitations sent to selected candidates: September 13 2021
  • Interviews Held: September 24 2021
  • Program Acceptance Letters sent to each of the selected candidates: September 27 2021
  • Payment is due from program participants: October 8 2021
  • WIT Board Readiness Pre-course Kick off - October 13 2021
    • Panel discussion from experienced women on boards
    • Test your thinking
    • Curriculum Review
  • Module 1: The role of the board defined - October 2021
    • How do boards work?
    • The role of the director and the board
    • How do board searches work?
  • Module 2: Learn the language of the board – October 2021
    • Learn the language of the board
    • Understand corporate governance & committees
    • Best practices of high-functioning boards
  • Module 3: Finance for Directors – November 2021
  • Module 4: Know your brand and be real – November 2021
    • Build your value proposition
    • Know how to pitch your value proposition
    • Build out your compelling executive profile
  • Module 5: Complete executive profile –December 2021
  • Module 6: How to find the right board for you – December 2021
    • How to navigate the board interview
    • Examine emerging challenges and trends in technology, innovation, risk and controls
  • Graduation Reception: Dinner and special speaker –December 2021 

Program Costs:

Corporate Sponsorship:

corp-sponsorship-06-29-2021

Women now hold a historic 22.6% of the Board Seats

2019-2020-change-in-board-seats-by-industry
2019-2020-percentage-in-board-seats-held-by-women
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?


WIT Board Readiness™ Selection Committee

Patti-Dismukes-

Patti Dismukes

HUNTER Technical

VP, Professional Services
Board President

Jean Holley

Jean Holley

Board of Directors

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

Marva Bailer

Marva Bailer

Splunk

Strategic Advisor: Global Cross Functional Leader
WIT Advisory Council
Board Member | Strike Ready

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Board Readiness Sponsors

Thank you to our WIT Board Readiness Program Sponsors

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