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Board Director Lisa Nelson Speaks On Breaking The Board Barrier

Professional Women Advisors Network Event


Board Director Lisa Nelson Speaks On Breaking The Board Barrier

As momentum builds to prepare and bring more women and minorities on corporate boards, there is ample opportunity for aspiring board members to bring their leadership to more organizations. For those seeking a board position for the first time, there can be many questions surrounding how to approach joining a board and what qualifications are needed. Lisa Nelson, the newest member of Seattle Bank's Board of Directors, recently spoke with Wall Street Journal about her experience joining corporate boards, saying, "I call it a club, and you have to figure out how to get invited to the club."

At the latest Professional Women Advisors Network event, we invited Lisa Nelson to share her personal experiences and insights on how to successfully gain a position on public, private and corporate boards. Hosted by Bodil Stevns, Vice President of Private Banking Outreach, "Breaking The Board Barrier: How to Get Into the Club" the event was open to an informal network of women advisors serving various aspects of holistic wealth management.

Lisa spoke on the challenges of "getting into the club" and offered compelling insights and advice on how professional women can position themselves for board service and related topics including how to get on boards, the role of directors, board compensation, and why diversity on boards matters.

Lisa Nelson is an accomplished finance and business development executive with over 25 years of experience in the software, technology, and financial services industries. She serves on various boards as a director and advisor, including domestic and foreign organizations working in sports, banking/fintech and aerospace.

Highlights from the event include:

  • Lisa Nelson's personal experience setting up nearly 200 introductions and networking meetings in order to land her first public board seat.
  • Underlying factors that make boards fairly exclusive and hard to break in.
  • A look into the interview process once you're nominated as a board candidate.
  • The time commitment and dedication to being on a board of a mature company versus one in its early stages, taking into account that the average tenure for board seats of public companies is between 7 to 11 years.
  • The value of being on a nonprofit board or committee and whether or not it translates over to the goal of attaining a for-profit board position.
  • The importance of understanding and articulating the high-demand skills and expertise you have that can bring valuable insights to the boardroom.
  • The importance of having not just racial and ethnic diversity on boards, but diversity of thought and experience.

Watch the full recorded discussion on Youtube. Discussion start time: 8:10 on the video.

The Seattle Bank Professional Women Advisors Network is an informal network of women advisors serving various aspects of holistic wealth management. The network includes women in the areas of wealth management, accounting, law, real estate and property management, philanthropy, and other professional services.

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