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Board Positions

When executives hit the top of the pyramid in their career, they may wonder, “Is that all there is?” One reasonable progression in an executive career is serving on the board of directors of a major public or non-profit company. A board of director’s position provides an outlet for experienced executives to continue to use their business knowledge.

Joining a corporate board can enhance an executive’s career in many ways. Board service can be a valuable opportunity to gain experience beyond your current company. Board-level roles can also serve as either a capstone to an already distinguished career or help position a rising executive for a CEO, CFO or COO role. However, obtaining a seat on a board of a company that interests you can be a lengthy and oftentimes challenging process.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of the board recruitment process, featuring Keith Pearson, from Pearson Partners International, and Krista Walochick, from Talengo.

Some of the questions asked included:

It’s almost August – a month associated with vacations in many parts of the world—and  a good time to contemplate the meaning of life from new viewpoints. As you break away from your everyday routine to view the big picture, be sure to give nonprofit board services some consideration. An educated guess would put the number of registered nonprofits worldwide at about 10 million—and in the United States alone there are 1.5 million charities, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. This includes about one million charitable organizations (501 c 3s), more than 100,000 private foundations, and nearly 400,000 other nonprofits ranging from chambers of commerce, to civic leagues, to fraternal organizations.

Columbia Business School, an AESC and BlueSteps partner, hosted an event on February 9, 2015 about board leadership. This was moderated by Karen Greenbaum, President and CEO of the AESC. The panelists included Patrick Prout, President and CEO of the Prout Group, Carrie Pryor, Managing Director of Greenwhich Harbour Partners, and George Willbanks, Managing Partner of Willbanks Partners, LLC.

Last month when NACD joined the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) to convene a “cyber summit,” the 200-seat event filled quickly with the key to the future: people—namely directors, chief executives, and information executives empowered to build corporate value and form a powerful bulwark against information destruction.

Ahead of his appearance at the AESC’s Global Conference in April, Joe Nocera, Partner at PwC, describes what boards are looking for to meet their cyber security needs.

How well equipped are the world’s largest companies to handle the threat of cyber security breaches today?

Julian, thank you for taking the time to speak with the AESC and BlueSteps about board director career and hiring trends. Can you tell us about the work you do at Heidrick & Struggles?

I lead our firm’s Government Affairs and Trade Association Practices from our Washington, D.C. office. I am also a member of our CEO and Board of Directors Practice. I have personally served on boards of public and private companies.

Open board seats represent potential opportunities for past military leaders. But for many, the question is, “What are my chances? Will I get on a board?” This blog offers encouragement to veterans who seek board seats and challenges boards to go beyond their usual networks to consider military leaders for that next open board seat.

Opportunity Awaits

Every year, most public company boards add at least one new director. The way board hiring trends are going, it won’t be long until two new faces may be the new rule. This opening of the boardroom offers new hope for those hoping to get a board seat – including military veterans.

Asians are poorly represented in senior roles across the West. Research by the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) shows that a measly 1.9% of senior executives in ASX200 companies were of Asian descent even though they represent 9.6% of the general population. This situation is mirrored in other countries, including the USA and Canada. Asian Americans account for just 1.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 1.9% of corporate officers overall. So what are the causes and what can be done?