“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.
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.
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!