Referral Qualifications

Key qualifications for women to be referred to Boards from the Women2Boards Registry

Our Registry was CLOSED to new members as a result of our February 1, 2017 merger with The Athena Alliance.  Current member profiles from our Registry will be used by the The Athena Alliance and Women2Boards for possible referrals through the end of 2017.

The following experiences, skills and personal traits are often used to identify qualified candidates for corporate board seats


  • CEOs
  • CFOs, CPAs  (especially for Financial Expert and Audit Committee)
  • C-Level Executives
  • Senior Level Executives
  • Division Heads of large enterprise corporations
  • Professionals – Lawyers, Accountants, Scientists
  • Specialists – IT, Cyber Security, Risk Management, Big Data, Mobile, Global Experience (combined with executive level management experience).
  • Regulators and Government Relations Specialists
  • Private or Public Company Board Experience

Competency in one or more domains is essential.  Most companies look for candidates who have senior leadership experience or who have served on the board of another company in a similar industry. Companies that are regulated by the government often look for directors who have government experience. Global companies like board members with international skills and experience.


  • Broad view of company management
  • Strategic thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership
  • Role of the independent director & governance best practices
  • Good understanding of financial statements
  • Risk management
  • Compensation knowledge (especially for Comp Committee)
  • Specialty skills needed by that board

Personal Traits

  • Integrity
  • Informed judgement
  • High performance standards
  • Independence
  • Willingness to speak up and ask tough questions (with diplomacy)
  • Mature confidence
  • Good interpersonal skills to interact with other board members and company employees in a professional manner
  • Act in best interests of the organization in all decisions
  • Excellent reputation
  • Be able to maintain confidentiality


Finally, it’s critical to recognize the intense time commitment corporate board service requires  — 250 to 300 hours per year for a large public company board seat according to Korn/Ferry, and we estimate at least 120 hours per year for smaller companies. Hopefully you have a  job that tolerates the need to respond quickly in a crisis situation and a personal life that can allow it.

Are you Board-Ready now?