Guest speakers included Marcella (Marcy) LoCastro, CEO of MLoCastro Consulting LLC, and board member of BioClinica, Inc., Alvarez and Marsal, and several professional organizations; Edward Ludwig, chairman of the Board of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company; and Francois Nader, MD, president, CEO, and director of NPS.
kicked off the discussion by sharing the lessons she
learned on her
quest to join a corporate board.
Speaking frankly, she
recounted some of her
early missteps, including relying almost exclusively on executive recruiters to review her
resume and match her
with a board seat.
Only 14 percent of all board seats are filled in this manner, she
Additionallly, recruiters typically zero in on C-suite people at Fortune 500 companies to fill those seats.
After many months of trying, she
found that selling one's resume cold is not an effective tactic.
Recent surveys by the NACD and Catalyst Inc.
indicate that 86 percent of these seats are filled via referrals and networking.
Given this data, Ms. LoCastro
observed, anyone - not just women - desirous of a board seat need to leverage their professional networks, ensure they are doing whatever they can to promote their credentials and establish themselves as industry experts, be active participants in professional organizations, and use a multi-pronged approach to putting the word out that you're interested in participating on a board.
Targeting specific companies and doing thorough research on them is also key, she
stated that involvement on not-for-profit boards can often be leveraged as a steppingstone to serving on public and private corporate boards as much of the experience is relevant and transferable.
Once a person decides he
wants to serve on a corporate board, the journey can be long (two-and-half years on average), she