Corporate boards. It was something I thought was reserved for “old, pale, males” (as I learned the saying goes amongst the circle). With California’s mandate to include women on corporate boards by the end of the year, it suddenly became more of a possibility for me. Traditional limitations on gender and/or race have not stopped me in the past, so what this law opens up for me is the possibility of getting on a corporate board sooner than I thought.
I was recently accepted into (and now completed) an inaugural program for Women In Corporate Governance at my alma mater UCLA Anderson School of Management. This program offered insight from women currently active on large corporate boards as to how they earned those positions and issues faced when on the board of a public or private corporation. What I also gained was what financial acumen was needed to contribute effectively as a board member from top financial experts who regularly conduct audits for and with the SEC and are active on boards. Having completed an MBA and having run P&L, forecasting, budgeting, and interpreting financial statements for global corporations and my own company, it was not something I was traditionally highlighting in the workforce as a digital marketing expert. I know now these skills are crucial to contribute meaningfully to a board, and I’ll be able to continually use these skills. Also, as a digital marketer, being excited about financial statements was never something I thought I would happen! So I guess pigs can learn to fly.
I was also able to meet other strong women with varied backgrounds with high positions at Apple and CEOs and entrepreneurs of globally focused companies who I know will continue to support one another long after the close of the program. It felt good to be amongst such well-respected company.
So, here goes with my ask: if you know of a corporate board position, it would be great to learn more. I am currently on two non-profit boards and an advisor for start-ups, and I am actively searching for a corporate board position. As an overview of my experience, I help companies with marketing in the digital age with my consulting firm, One Thousand Suns. I have a track record of success for building marketing of B2B and B2C companies from start-ups to established corporations by using data-driven analysis to empower marketing decisions. Also as a start-up advisor and consultant, I’ve been intimately involved in strategy decks for investment, advising on product functionality/improvement, and have a good understanding (well, as much as anyone can!) and actionability of what start-ups need for profitability. As a result of my 15+ years of experience, I have also been named as a 40-Under-40 and Women to Watch in marketing.