Women on Boards reports there is a mismatch in the skills and experience boards are recruited on and those that are effective in the boardroom. Prof. Stanislaw Shekshnia from INSEAD, speaking at a Women on Boards breakfast, observed that there was “a big difference between what makes you a board member and what makes you effective in the boardroom”.
Besides broad expertise and ambition for the institution, skills that make you effective in the boardroom include: soft skills such as listening, questioning and feedback; openness and learning capability; personal humility and maturity; sound preparation and willingness to commit time and focus. But companies recruit their board members based on: their name; their CV; their network; and their industry knowledge.
Prof. Shekshnia’s research in Europe indicated the attributes most likely to have you selected and appointed as a board chair are being a man and being a CEO. Women appointed as chairs tended to be older at first appointment, formally educated and have experience as an independent director.