During March we applaud women who are blazing trails and making differences in their communities, all while inspiring the next generation of leaders. Leading Women Entrepreneurs (LWE) is especially proud to announce a virtual event on March 30 with a mission to help all professionals of every gender, race, and professional specialty develop their potential and further their knowledge and readiness to achieve a seat on the board of directors to be a Force For Change.
There have been so many women throughout the years who have paved the way for gender equality for women in leadership positions. We are excited to interview two New Jersey trail blazers who are former Top 25 Leading Women and without question, are a Force for Change.
This event will showcase the success journeys of Michele Siekerka, the president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, and Joyce Brocaglia, CEO of BoardSuited.
Michele and Joyce are going to be offering advice, trends and specific resources that are available for anyone who wants to be on a board. We will also discuss the importance of more women and diversity on boards, what individuals need to do to get on a board and how we need to solve this issue together.
As the Founder of BoardSuited, Joyce Brocaglia has a mission to help women increase their representation in various board service positions. Joyce is also the Founder and CEO of Alta Associates and the Executive Women’s Forum. As a serial entrepreneur for the past three decades, Joyce led companies with a shared mission to build world-class organizations, advise executives, and advance diversity in leadership.
Michele leads an influential employers’ organization, advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s large and small businesses for policies that will make New Jersey more affordable and regionally competitive. Michele serves on the board of directors of Investors Bancorp, The New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Choose New Jersey, the New Jersey Innovation Institute and Junior Achievement of New Jersey. As a testament to her passion for women’s leadership, she serves on the advisory council of both SheTek and Wings for Growth.
Leading Women Entrepreneurs is passionate about empowering women, educating professionals and providing access and visibility to experts. We believe that knowledge is power and we know that given the competitive landscape of gaining a seat on a board, preparation is the key to success. We are fortunate to be able to offer this event online to ensure the safety of participants and still give access to these two dynamic inspiring women. We are also going to offer a demo of the BoardSuited platform which will give attendees a summary of what they can expect to learn from the course.
According to Harvard Law School of Corporate Governance, five major U.S. board diversity trends emerged in 2019 as outlined below.
Board renewal rates continue to increase, as board refreshment, director qualifications, and board diversity remain high-priority issues for companies and investors.
The percentage of women joining boards reached a new record high, with 45% of new Russell 3000 board seats filled by women in 2019 (compared to only 12% in 2008) and 19% of all Russell 3000 seats held by women.
Ethnic diversity also reached record highs, but has grown at a much slower pace, with approximately 10% of Russell 3000 directors currently belonging to an ethnic minority group, while 15% of new directors are ethnically diverse.
New director appointments focus on non-financial skillsets, with an increased proportion of directors having international experience, ESG expertise, and background in human resources.
The average director age continues to increase, as the appointment of younger directors is less frequent than in previous years, with only 7.2% of new directorships filled by individuals younger than 45 years, compared to 11.5% of new directors in 2008.
With the trends moving in this direction, resources like BoardSuited are more important than ever. BoardSuited is an online e-learning course that provides professionals with a practical approach to best prepare and position themselves for their first boardroom seat.
The technology combines a robust curriculum and insights from seated board members and C-level experts to explain how boards operate, outline their roles and responsibilities as board members and provide guidance on creating a personal roadmap to the boardroom.
“Through BoardSuited’s comprehensive self-directed educational curriculum, we will increase the pipeline and the quality of diverse and underrepresented candidates for Board of Director roles. We accomplish this by taking the mystery out of the workings of a Board and providing access to and insights from seated board members resulting in a clearer vision of the path to Board service for all those who may aspire to be on an Advisory, Non-Profit, or Corporate Board,” Joyce explains.
BoardSuited ensures that those who are currently board-ready gain the valuable tools they need to best position themselves for board service as well as the knowledge of what to expect in their role and responsibilities as a new board member.
The platform is not only educating, but inspiring and instills confidence in those professionals who are not yet board-ready but aspire to be a director. It gives individuals an opportunity and tools early enough in their careers to both gain an understanding of the workings of a board and the ability to assess their own skills and identify gaps that need to be addressed so that they can course correct and gain the skills necessary for board service.
Unlike many other options on the market that have barriers to entry, BoardSuited is completely online (so pandemic safe) and requires no previous board service, no membership, and best of all, no travel or time off. Registration for this event with Joyce Brocaglia and Michele Siekerka on March 30 at 5:00 PM is open at www.lweworld.com.
If you know others who are a Force For Change, Nominations are open! Deadline: April 15, 2021. Here are the 2021 Nomination categories:
Top 25 Force For Change Awards (Visit www.forceforchangenj.com): LWE is excited to announce a statewide in-itiative with NJBIZ as its media partner, designed to showcase women and men across all industries who are innovators and a true “Force for Change” in 25 categories during the pandemic. These “stand out” business leaders who challenge the status quo have been instrumental in making New Jersey a model of innovation, leadership and financial viability for the nation. Their creativity, imagination and unique problem-solving approach positively impacts their client’s needs and paves the path for future generations.
Top 25 Product Awards (Visit www.forceforchangenj.com): In 2021, we will recognize the most groundbreaking, game-changing and innovative products in a variety of categories. We are looking for women and men who are changing the business landscape and consumers’ lives through their inventions.
Top 25 Leading Women Awards (Visit www.lweworld.com): The best and the brightest women leaders have been recognized for a decade through the LWE platform. The New Jersey region is home to many talented female entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. An exceptionally qualified group of these women are recognized annually with the announcement of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Brand Builders and Socialpreneurs.
Linda Wellbrock is the CEO and founder of Leading Women Entrepreneurs and the Force For Change NJ.
“Through BoardSuited’s comprehensive self-directed educational curriculum, we will increase the pipeline and the quality of diverse and underrepresented candidates for Board of Director roles.”
– Harvard Law School of Corporate Governance