Qualifications for Various Board Seats
Depending on the kind of board or commission you would like to serve on, the qualifications and expectations about your experience will vary widely. For example, the level of experience and background a publicly held company expects of a corporate board director is quite different from a small nonprofit organization. To learn more about what public and private companies typically expect, please read the information here shared by our friends at theBoardlist.
We realize that not everyone has the level of experience recommended by theBoardlist. Our goal is for All Our Talent to provide opportunities for women with a lot of experience, and with less experience, to consider joining a board or commission that fits their experience and capabilities. TheBoardlist’s network is primarily focused on private and public companies looking to diversify their board talent, but it also includes nonprofit organizations. As All Our Talent’s programming evolves, we will continue to provide resources and connections so you can learn about opportunities and skills needed to serve on one or more of the board or commission areas listed below.
Typical Qualifications for Board Members
Public Companies: Seasoned professional who typically has served in the C-Suite or senior leadership of a company. Public corporate board directors are often thought-leaders in their field, have commanded significant industry experience, or bring unique insight from their background and knowledge. Public companies are required to fill key seats on their boards with individuals who meet specific functions for the board, for example tax and fiduciary expertise. Public companies are regulated by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. California’s law (SB826) requires that women be added to public company boards based in California. By the end of 2021, over 665 public company board seats will need to be filled by women to uphold the gender diversity requirement of the law.
Private Companies: Because private company boards are not regulated like public companies, it is completely up to the discretion of the company leadership (often the CEO or founder) to decide who to invite to join their board. Private company boards seek individuals with specific industry expertise and knowledge, and also are keen to offer board seats to investors in their companies. As companies grow they require new insights and ideas and look for individuals who might bring experience in an emerging area of their work. Private companies are also more mindful of diversity on their teams and are looking for new diverse talent.
Nonprofit Boards: There is not a specific kind of experience required to serve on a nonprofit board. Every nonprofit board is looking for board members dedicated to their mission and willing to provide time, treasure (fundraising), and/or talent to their board. Typically nonprofit boards require a commitment of service for a given time period (for example 2 years) and also ask that board members help to raise funds for the work through the board members’ networks or personal resources.
County Commissions: County commissioners are individuals who are willing to give their time and expertise to help provide important functions to county commission work. San Diego County Boards, Commissions, and Committees advise the Board of Supervisors on issues relating to the welfare and quality of life in the County. Committees and boards range from short-term task-oriented endeavors to long-term standing committees with broad-based responsibilities.These committees address important issues for our region including health and human services, criminal justice, elderly, planning, land use, parks, libraries, and housing. Learn more about county commissions here.
City Commissions: City commissioners are individuals who are willing to give their time and experience to help provide important guidance to city commission work. City commissioners have a variety of backgrounds and bring their diverse wisdom to their commission teams. You can read more about San Diego City Commissions here including the duties and functions for each committee here.
How To Join theBoardlist
- Visit theBoardlist website
- Create a candidate profile. You can even link your Boardlist profile to your LinkedIn account and it will automatically pull in key information about your background and experience.
- Create a board biography to stand out. Learn more about how to craft your profile here.
- Once you’re signed up, click ‘Request Recommendation’ to the right of your profile.
- Search ‘All Our Talent’
- Username: All Our Talent
- Username email: email@example.com
This recommendation process will allow All Our Talent to know you are signed up and connect your profile with the All Our Talent partnership. This will also allow companies and organizations in the region to know that you are interested in board service both locally and in other areas of the country.
The Chamber has created an equity pledge which enrolls companies and organizations in the mission of improving gender equity and representation on board and commissions. Chamber member companies who take the pledge commit to putting forward 10 women from their organization to be part of the All Our Talent database on theBoardlist. Companies who have taken the pledge include SDG&E, Bank of America, NV5, and Qualcomm.
If you are a company in San Diego interested in joining this pledge, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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