“Being on a board is a recession-proof plan. It really changes your life, and your own perspective.”

pymetrics CEO and cofounder, Frida Polli, hosted a Forte Foundation event this week, and we had the chance to listen to the incredible Deborah McWhinney give her advice on the topic of corporate board membership.

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With high profile lapses in good company judgement constantly hitting the news, more attention is being paid to effective corporate governance. Boards of Directors are notoriously homogenous - a recent Washington Post headline declares that There are more men on corporate boards named John, Robert, William or James than there are women on boards altogether.

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Diversifying corporate boards is a critical part of increasing board effectiveness, and on Tuesday night, Deborah McWhinney shared her insights and experience planning a career for “board-eligibility.”

For many in the audience, being on a corporate board was a concern for further down the career path, but McWhinney emphasized the need to be strategic early. Frequently, by the time women are actively interested in being on a board of directors, they often do not have the experience necessary to be compelling candidates.

For all of the women present, McWhinney’s talk was both straight-forward and inspiring.

Her most important piece of advice for those aspiring to serve on a corporate board? “Manage a P&L - regardless of how small you might think it is, get in a position where you can grow it and have direct impact.”

McWhinney closed with the following: “Every single day, give something to someone else. Take someone aside every day and say thank you. It will have a tremendous impact.”

So with that: a big thank you to Deborah McWhinney and the Forte Foundation for helping to host such a wonderful event!