The way to your next board seat is through your network, so be smart, be strategic, and be collaborative in building your network through Women In The Boardroom’s Matchmaking Program™
The Matchmaking Program™ is a win-win for all Women In The Boardroom VIP Members and their networks.
- VIP Members gain the opportunity to make valuable new board connections and build their strategic network.
- VIP Members can introduce new and potentially valuable talent to trusted board connections.
- Board connections grow their strategic networks with new talent with relevant skills and experience.
The Matchmaking Program™ is a unique approach to strategic introductions.
Women In The Boardroom’s Matchmaking Program ™ is a highly structured program where VIP Members are introduced to new board connections via a highly quality controlled process that was created, and is managed by founder and CEO, Sheila Ronning and her team. Introductions are made for qualified women who do not expect to be invited onto the board of a company, but who do want to grow their network of board connections, build quality new relationships, and add value to new connections at select companies nominated for inclusion by WIB VIP Members. Exclusive member benefits include:
- Personal introductions to new board connections
- Quality control and program management is handled by WIB team
- Guaranteed discretion, as each VIP Member decides what she feels comfortable arranging and who she feels comfortable introducing
- Networking based on careful research and strategic matching
- 100-200 companies added each month
- Included as a complimentary service to all VIP Members
The inspiration behind the Matchmaking Program™ from its creator, Sheila Ronning:
“In my 15 years running Women In The Boardroom, I’ve helped so many members who have amazing board connections in their personal network – contacts that they’ve worked hard to build a great relationship with, and whose trust they’ve earned. Some of these board contacts will offer these women opportunities when there is a great fit. BUT there will be other situations where that fit just isn’t right for that individual, but may be a great fit for another qualified woman. As I believe that female executive power and influence is greatest when women help other women, I brought together the concept of women helping women with the idea that our member networks have power that could be tapped by other trusted members to create our Matchmaking Program™. The program has already produced amazing new connections. I invite you to commit, contribute and make new connections.”
How it works:
- The Master List of companies where Women In The Boardroom VIP Members have board contacts is compiled from company names submitted by VIP members. 100-200 companies are listed each month and they represent a wide spectrum of smaller and larger, public and private, and multiple verticals.
- Any VIP Member who contributes 5 companies to the master list is now a member of the Matchmaking Program™.
- A VIP Member who wants to request an introduction (“the requestor”) will review the master list to create a shortlist of companies where a contact would be of interest AND a good match for her skill set. She will filter her shortlist considering private versus public status, industry relevance and size. She performs due diligence on her shortlisted companies narrowing them down to the most important. She writes a cover letter that outlines her value add for that company, will package this with her corporate bio and board documents, and send them into the Women In The Boardroom team. The requestor deals exclusively with the Women In The Boardroom team at this point.
- Sheila and her team will quality check the requestor’s package and send it to the member who submitted the company name to the master list because she has the board contact (“the connector”) for her to review.
- If the connector is not comfortable making an introduction, WIB will advise the requestor that this will not work out. The connector remains anonymous.
- If the connector does see the value in making an introduction, she will call her board contact and see if he or she is open to making a new connection – on the understanding that the requestor has no specific and immediate board expectations of the board contact, but would appreciate the opportunity to talk. If the board contact is amenable, the connector gives Women In The Boardroom the go-ahead to introduce the requestor to her.
- The connector and requestor talk. The connector introduces requestor and board contact.
- The requestor then follows up and is responsible for developing and building a meaningful relationship with the board contact. Successful requestors will have researched the board contact, found common interests and will invest the time and energy into creating a genuinely worthwhile relationship.
Matchmaking Program™ FAQs:
Q: What does the Matchmaking Program™ cost?
A: The program is included within your membership dues as a VIP Member. There is no additional fee.
Q: Am I eligible for inclusion in the Matchmaking Program?
A: All Women In The Boardroom VIP Members are eligible – just submit 5 company names to the master list, be open to reviewing possible new connections and you are in!
Q: I don’t have board connections to 5 companies, can I still participate?
A: We think you’re selling yourself short! In our experience, all VIP Members have board connections to 5 companies, but they just don’t realize it. The definition of board contact is very broad. A board connection could be a board director OR report to the board. A board connection could be recently retired or recently resigned from a board. We consider private and public, large and small, corporate or advisory boards. Any board that compensates its directors in cash or equity qualifies. Review and research your list of influencers and connectors very carefully to identify board contacts. Look at your network’s LinkedIn descriptions, executive websites, or Google them – their board credentials will not be hard to spot and neither will their company names for your list. If someone in your network serves on two boards that will be two company names to contribute to the master list. Don’t forget – YOU. If you serve on or report to your company board then add your company to the master list. Check the other boards that your board directors serve on and add those companies to the master list.
Q: Am I sending names of my trusted contacts to strangers?
A: NO. You submit company names not individuals to the company master list, and we do not disclose your identity as the provider of the name.
Q: How do I know that I’m introducing women of the right caliber to my board contacts?
A: Sheila Ronning and her team screen and quality control, and will only forward names of members who meet the right criteria. If as a connector you do not feel comfortable introducing a requestor to your contact, the Women In The Boardroom team will advise the requestor that this isn’t going to work: your name as a connector is never revealed in these conversations.
Q: Am I creating my own competition by introducing other candidates to my board contacts? I want them to consider ME for openings or advancement.
A: Don’t count yourself out. Only include companies where you are not a good fit. This could be because of conflict of interest, a company being too big or too small for your experience, or being in an industry that is not a good match for your skill set.
Q: I’m interested requesting introductions to specific companies – whom do I contact?
A: John at firstname.lastname@example.org