The Corporate Board Initiative


The Credo of the Women’s Forum of New York starts with “we believe the potential for women should be unlimited and opportunities should be as well.” Seats on corporate boards represent a leadership frontier for women. Women hold only 20% of S&P 500/ F1000 board seats despite repeated studies by McKinsey, Credit Suisse and others that confirm what progressive companies already know: gender balance in the boardroom contributes to better decision making and a better bottom line.

In 2011 our Forum founded our Corporate Board Initiative to accelerate the advancement of women on corporate boards across all industry sectors. Our strategy reflects our belief that change happens more quickly when it’s driven from the top. Our initiative focuses on the game-changers: CEOs, Chairman, Nom-gov chairs and Directors who can truly accelerate the advancement of women on boards, with the overarching goal of achieving gender balance on corporate Boards by 2025.

Breakfast of Corporate Champions

The flagship program of our Corporate Board Initiative is our biennial salute to companies and leaders who are actively advancing women on corporate boards. The Breakfast of Corporate Champions honors S&P 500/ F1000 companies who measurably exceed the national average of Board Seats held by women with special recognition approaching our goal of parity with at least 40% of board seats, and a singular Muriel F. Siebert Leadership Award presented to a company and CEO that has achieved parity and implemented policies and actions that can inspire others to follow. The 2017 Breakfast honored over 350 companies and attracts a capacity audience of over 600 decision makers.

Click here for the 2017 BCC Program.

Registration is now open for the 2019 Breakfast of Corporate Champions on Thursday, November 7th.

CEO Sponsored Database of Board Ready Women

Price Waterhouse Coopers studies have shown that 90% of board seats are sourced from the boards’ own networks. That’s why in 2013 the Women’s Forum of New York launched a unique database to bring more women into those networks and increase the pipeline of board ready women. We invited our CEO Champions to sponsor women they believe are board ready for this database, which is available to search firms and nom-gov committees free of charge through the Women’s Forum website. Every candidate in the database is profiled by the criteria most search firms seek in board candidates and is uniquely vetted because she is sponsored by a CEO. In 2018, we enhanced the reach of our database by partnering with Equilar, which will add our database to their Diversity Network and also make it available through BoardEdge.

CEO Champion Advocate Campaign

In 2017 we expanded our Corporate Board Initiative by creating a series of 18 call-to action videos by our CEO Champions. We invite everyone to share these videos in their companies and through their social media channels.

Mentoring Roundtables

In addition to our primary game changer strategy, our Forum conducts annual mentoring roundtables to help members assess if they are board ready and if not how to get there. Forum members who hold board seats share their experiences and pragmatic tools to help other members achieve their goals.

Strategic Partners

The Forum is delighted to partner with these organizations that share our commitment to the advancement of women on corporate boards.

  • Catalyst

  • Committee for Economic Development

  • C200

  • National Association of Corporate Directors

  • U.S. 30% Club

  • WomensCorporateDirectors