The Trusteeship

Getting that Seat on the Board – March 23

On January 1, new California law SB 826 went into effect, requiring all public companies in the state to have at least one woman director on their board by the end of 2019 and two more by end of 2021.

Trusteeship members and guests gathered at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a panel presentation and learned from three of our own esteemed members who serve on Corporate Boards. They shared their experience and advice for being named a Corporate Board Member.

Some Key Notes from the Event:

  • Networking is key, it is always about relationships and who knows who.
  • People want to work with people they know, or who have been recommended by someone they know (80% recruited by friends/colleagues 20% by search firms.
  • Values needed on boards:
    • Understanding the consumer (Betsy M. is on many private boards due to her understanding young consumers).
    • Understanding what employees need (women traditionally have an HR focus.
    • Understanding finance, compensation.
  • Many women head the compensation committee, as many men don’t seem to want to say how much the CEO should make or deal with that negotiation.
  • More boards use data to drive decision making, understanding how best to use data more and more
  • Important – Be good at one or two things and brand yourself, so people start thinking of you when they need that expertise.
  • Boards want to put people on who are relevant, so if you are older (usually you are making an 8-10 year commitment) you must be able to show you are relevant (think if you are 62 in 10 years you are 72).
  • Age is a number, and it is trending younger, but still lots of older board members, but as usual may be harder for older women.
  • Think about the value you bring, and also make sure you get value out of it as well.
  • Don’t allow money to be the driving factor for why you join a board, it is a big time commitment, especially if the organization is going through a leadership change. 

Our Trusteeship Panelists: 

  • Betsy Berkhemer Credaire, CEO, Berkhemer Clayton Retained Search – Board Member of: CEO of 2020 Women on Boards Statewide California Board of National Assn of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-CA), sponsors of the California Law Women on Boards, SB 826, enacted January 1st, 2019. Past Boards: SoCal Edison Consumer Advisory Board, UCLA Health Sciences & Medical Center Advisory Board. Author: “The Board Game — How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors”, “Winning the Board Game–How Women Corporate Directors Make The Difference” (out in May, 2019).
  • Betsy McLaughlin, named 2018 Director of the Year for Growth Companies by The Forum for Corporate Directors. Board Member of: Everlane, BarkBox, Veggie Grill, Lazy Dog, 5.11 Tactical, Dolls Kill. Past Boards: Hot Topic (HOTT), Noodles (NDLS), Pinkberry, Kriser’s Natural Pet. Non-Profit Boards: PetSmart Charities.
  • Julie Newcomb Hill, Founder, The Hill Company. Board Member of: Anthem – US health insurer, Lord Abbett Family of Funds – The oldest private mutual fund complex, founded in 1929 and was the first woman on the board in 2004. UNYQ – Silicon Valley start-up, wearable medical devices. Non-Profit Boards: Chair of the UCI Trustees. Past Boards: Holcim (US), a Swiss-based international concrete cement manufacturer, Lend Lease – Sydney based heavy construction company, active in 90 countries around the world, Resources Connection – IPO out of Deloitte, financial services company.
  • Moderator: Cristina Rose Board of Directors: The Claremont Colleges, Metropolitan Los Angeles YMCA. Past Boards: HMSHost and The Mills Corporation.

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“A dynamic group of intelligent, notable, exciting, giving, caring, fun, and gifted women of different careers, background, education and ethnicity. They stand united as one voice for the betterment of all women everywhere throughout the world. It is such an honor to be a member of The Trusteeship.”

– Martha