For women it is about what skills and expertise they can provide the company, the experience and networks they can bring to the company and the situation that they are in. Some of these may be relevant because you bring a women’s perspective to the board. Women can bring a reflection and understanding of a company’s target market or half of their target market. The fact you are a woman alone, is not the best start to finding yourself the most suitable and rewarding advisory board position. To be selected for a board position because you are a woman, first and foremost, is personally offensive and very short sighted. Personally, if I thought that I was chosen because of that, I would decline the opportunity.
The real way forward is for more women to be confident and prepared, to stand up and offer their services. To look for the opportunities where they can make a real contribution and then back themselves by applying for those roles. Advisory Boards are a good place to start – normally they are less formal, more flexible, more hands on, with no fiduciary responsibility etc. Read our resource on the benefits women receive from serving on a board.