Nancy Sheppard, Founder & CEO

An Early Leader in the Movement for Gender Diversity in the Boardroom 


Nancy founded Women2Boards in 2014 to assist women leaders on their path to a corporate board seat. Her challenges and achievements of working in male-dominated environments for many years inspired her passion to assist more women to succeed in business and break through the boardroom ceiling.

Nancy joined the Leadership Team of The Athena Alliance in February 2017 and coaches board-qualified women on their “Go to Market” strategy and assists them to design their board seat campaign.

She launched and was the Chair of the Host Leadership Committee for the 2020 Women on Boards National Discussion on Board Diversity meetings held in San Francisco in 2015 and 2016.  She transitioned to being a member of the 2020 WOB Leadership Committee for the San Francisco National Discussion in 2017-2020.  She is on the current Leadership Committee of #GetonBoard Week, sponsored by How Women Lead.

She leads the How Women Lead Corporate Board Readiness Workshops which feature panels of board members and board experts.  Held in-person in Silicon Valley and San Francisco in 2018-2020,  she now leads these in a 5-session virtual format.  Over 700 women have completed this workshop series.

Professional Experience

Nancy has management and governance experience in banking associations, the financial services industry, and legislative, regulatory  & political environments. Following 20+ years as President & CEO of Western Independent Bankers (WIB), a trade association serving independent banks and firms serving the financial services industry in 13 Western states, she felt it was time to use her many connections and governance experience for a new cause – bringing qualified women to corporate boards that need new talent.

“A Feisty Regional Powerhouse” American Banker newspaper description of Nancy’s reputation as CEO of Western Independent Bankers.

Western Banking Magazine - Executive CommitteePrior to WIB, she held two senior management positions at the California Bankers Association with overall responsibility for federal government relations, public and media affairs, and educational programs.  She moved to the Bay Area after spending six years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide for three separate Members of Congress.

Governance & Board Experience

During her tenure at WIB, she developed director education programs which became one of the primary services of the organization.  She was the main staff advisor on the design of the educational program content and the leader in bringing products such as board and director evaluations and online board portal services to improve governance and efficiencies for financial institution boards.

She was an inside director and on the executive commit 2006ttee of the WIB Board (1989-2013), a founding member of the board and corporate secretary of Western Independent Bankers Service Corporation (1994-2013),  and a founding director and corporate secretary of WIB Self-Insurance Group (2005-13).




Her nonprofit boardwork includes the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment San Francisco Regional Board from 2009 to 2014  and  she served as Regional Chair from 2010-13.  She was Chair of the Financial Institution Marketing Association West, and a board member of the California Intermediate Banking School and the YMCA of San Francisco.

Boardroom Gender Diversity Speaker

Nancy speaks on topics such as:

  • the history of women on boards.
  • benefits of gender diversity in corporate leadership;
  • research regarding gender diversity in leadership;
  • trends in the selection of women directors;
  • how to put together a strategy to gain a board seat;
  • how to write an effective board branding package;
  • how to interview for a board seat;
  • doing your due diligence.

Speaking engagements include:

  • New York Stock Exchange  Governance Services, NYC Annual Boardroom Summit –  2015
  • New York Stock Exchange Governance Services, Annual West Coast Boardroom Summit –  2015
  • Directors & Board’s Women on Boards: Teeing Up Talent for Your Board’s Future – National Webinar – 2016
  • Boardroom Performance Group/Executive Next Practices Forum’s Developing a New Generation of Board Leaders – 2015
  • Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute’s Women’s Transformative Leadership Forum – San Francisco
  • 2020 Women on Boards National Day of Discussion, San Francisco, Chapter Founder, Speaker & Moderator – 2015, 2016
  • Lee Hecht Harrison –  Western Region Conference Call for Executive Consultants – 2016
  • Evercore Wealth Management Wise Women Series – San Francisco and Oakland – 2016
  • 100 Women in Finance – San Francisco – 2017
  • International Women’s Forum NorCal Chapter – Board Workshop – 4 Session Virtual Series – 2019
  • Boardroom Bound Podcast – 2018
  • How Women Lead 5-Session Corporate Board Readiness Workshops – 2018-Present 
  • How Women Lead #GetonBoards Workshops – 2020-Present
  • Stanford Women on Boards Annual Dinners
    • Dinner Keynote Panelist-  2017
    • Workshop Panelist  – 2018, 2019
  • The Athena Alliance Salons –  2020 – 21
  • How Women Inspire Podcast  – 2022
  • American Association of Bank Directors Podcast – 2022
  • California Department of Insurance Diversity Conference, The Future of Board Diversity – 2022
  • Stanford Women on Boards Pitch Workshop – 2023
  • The Assembly for Bank Directors – 2023
  • Athena Alliance Board Academy – 2023
  • Women’s Leadership Summit – The Journey to the Boardroom,  Stanford University – 2024


She was chosen as one of the 100 Most Influential San Francisco Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times, as Volunteer of the Year for the YMCA of San Francisco, and received The Award of Excellence from the Northern California Society of Association Executives.  She was one of 10 Bay Area Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Marin Magazine in 2020.

Contact about sponsoring her to speak at your company or an educational event.