Boardroom Ready Program

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Women hold just a small number of corporate board seats. In 2015, the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 companies showed that 17.9% of corporate directors were women. That number drops to 10% in biotech companies. These numbers are disproportional when you consider that women comprise about half of the total U.S. workforce, hold half of all management positions, and are responsible for almost 80% of all consumer spending.

WIB has reviewed the overwhelming evidence from various sources that state that companies with more diversity at the highest levels see a higher return on investment overall. (Catalyst report “Why Diversity Matters” [2013])

It’s time that companies took advantage of this untapped pool of qualified board candidates. It’s time that we increased the number of women who serve on corporate boards. Women In Bio is ready to take action and make a real difference in achieving greater gender diversity on corporate boards.

Boardroom Ready Program Overview

Boardroom Ready 2016 Group Photo

Women In Bio national leaders, Dawn Hocevar and Carolyn Brougham, join the inaugural Boardroom Ready board certification class for a photo. (Upper row, left to right): Mary ThistleTheresa MatkovitsFaith CharlesCindy JacobsSusan DillonTara NickersonJennifer CarverMarianne De BackerAlpna SethJohanna Friedl-NadererCynthia SmithAnna Kazanchyan (Boardroom Ready Coach), Jzaneen Lalani.

(Bottom row, left to right) Dawn Hocevar (WIB Interim President-Elect), Eliana ClarkSofia JovicKate Haviland,Sharon AydStacy LindborgHeidi HigginsonAlison ArterEthel Rubin, Carolyn Brougham (Chair, WIB Boardroom Ready program).

Watch exclusive video from our 2016 Boardroom Ready Class here!

Women In Bio is pleased to launch our Boardroom Ready Program, aimed to help executive women achieve their goal of corporate board service. Inspired by Biogen's successful Raising the Bar Program, WIB’s Boardroom Ready Program seeks to prepare exceptionally qualified WIB members for board service by providing a board certification training, and assistance seeking public and private corporate board opportunities.

Listen to "The Bio Report: Bringing Women Into the Biotech Boardroom" as they discuss our latest initiative.

Board Certification Course

Our Boardroom Ready Candidates will undergo rigorous board training with WIB’s training partner George Washington University’s Executive Education School. A five-day life-science focused board training course (split into two 2.5 day modules) will teach our candidates the commitments, duties, operation, and responsibilities of participating on public and private company boards. In particular, our board candidates will explore topics such as financial literacy, board governance, financial strategy, crisis management, and investor relations.

Board Placement Phase

While the board certification course is an excellent first step, the ultimate goal of our program is to place qualified women on boards. WIB has determined that the best way to accomplish this is to conduct outreach efforts to match our course graduates with available board seats as well as holding networking events for our graduates. Women In Bio is working with champions of diversity such as Biogen, MassBio’s corporate and individual members, and LifeSci Advisors to promote our candidates for available board positions. In addition, WIB and other partners intend to hold multiple receptions with a targeted mix of investors, current board members, and others who influence the decision-making process for companies looking for new board members.

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Opportunities to Engage

Become a Boardroom Ready Candidate

The 2017 Boardroom Ready program is now accepting applications.  Please see below for information about applying to the 2017 Boardroom Ready program.

Find out more about the application process below.

Become a Financial Sponsor

WIB’s Boardroom Program is looking for financial sponsors to support and maintain this initiative. Sponsorship money will be used to reduce training costs associated with the program and promote our women onto Corporate boards through networking events. Sponsorship packages can be found below.

Become a Boardroom Coach

WIB is seeking Boardroom Coaches from the industry to serve as mentors and sponsors for matched individual Boardroom Ready candidate(s). Coaches will help guide our candidates through the networking process that will take place before, during, and following the course itself. These coaches will fill an important role as a bridge to an actual board placement. For more information about how to become a coach, please email

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Boardroom Ready Program Application Process


WIB’s Boardroom Ready Program is seeking qualified executive women to join our class of Boardroom Ready candidates. Candidates should have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Active WIB membership
  • Hold an executive-level position and possess substantive managerial experience in the biotech industry, whether in an operational, scientific or financial role
  • Strong interest in serving on a Board of Directors to work actively and advise on company strategy and operations. 

Selection Process

A Selection Committee comprised of corporate board members and professionals involved in corporate board selection will review all submitted applications. The Boardroom Ready Selection Committee is comprised of six industry experts, including:

  • A Founding Partner of an investor relations consultancy firm
  • The Chief Business Officer at a molecular diagnostics company
  • A Managing Partner at a venture capital firm
  • The Chief Financial Officer at a biopharmaceutical company
  • The Senior Director of Global Diversity for a global biotech company
  • A Council Member for the largest state-funded research effort in the country and Advisor to biotech companies and investors.

Time Commitment

A five-day board certification course (split into two 2.5 day modules) will be held in Washington D.C.

The 2017 Boardroom Ready course will be held at George Washington University (Washington D.C.) on September 6-8 and October 18-20.

Applicants will be expected to attend and fully participate in both sessions. It is understood that, during attendance at this program, the participant will be free of other duties and will not leave except in emergency situations. Outreach efforts and networking events will be held before, during, and following the training sessions. 

Financial Considerations 

Board Certification Training Program Cost: Although some of the program costs are covered by our sponsors, candidates will be responsible for $4,000 to cover the remainder of the training costs.

Lodging and Meals: Program fees include most meals, coffee breaks and any receptions during the Board Certification training sessions. Participants may be responsible for dinner on free evenings. Vegetarian options are available at all meals and breaks during our programs. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations and transportation to and from the Board Certification Training program.

Application Process

The 2017 Boardroom Ready Application is available here (.docx). Applications must be received by March 15, 2017.  No late applications will be accepted.

To apply, candidates must submit the Boardroom Ready Application, a current biography, and CV to:

Please write BOARDROOM READY APPLICATION in the subject line. Copies of the application and supporting material will be distributed to our Selection Committee and will be kept confidential.

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Boardroom Ready Sponsor packages may include the following benefits, but all can be customized:

  • Recognition at all Boardroom Ready networking events nationwide
  • Continual recognition on the Boardroom Ready web page on the WIB website
  • Speaking opportunities at Boardroom Ready networking events nationwide 
  • Tickets and memberships to allow for sponsor organization participation in WIB’s events and member benefits

If you don’t see a sponsorship package that suits your needs, please email to discuss a customizable sponsorship package.

Sponsorship Packages

Signature Sponsorship ($5,000) includes:

  • Recognition nationwide as a company that is truly committed to taking action towards reaching gender equality at the highest levels of the companies in our industry
  • Logo on all communications from WIB associated with the Boardroom Ready program
  • Recognition at all Boardroom Ready networking events nationwide
  • Continual recognition on the Boardroom Ready web page on the WIB website.

Elite Sponsorship ($12,500) includes:

  • Signature Sponsor benefits, plus
  • A nomination for one qualified WIB female member to join our class of Boardroom Ready candidates
  • Two tickets to a networking reception to promote our class of Boardroom Ready Candidates.

Thank you to our sponsors

 Lifesci   Biogen
 Acorda Theravance Resized 
Thompson Hine Logo 7 14 15  

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Contact Us

For any additional questions, please contact our Women In Bio Boardroom Ready Manager and Assistant Manager - Carolyn Brougham and Elese Hanson at

Press Releases


August 1, 2017: Women In Bio Announces Latest Boardroom Ready Class

July 13, 2017 - Women In Bio Announces Mary Thistle Joins Enterome's Board of Directors

October 31, 2016 - Women In Bio Announces First Boardroom Ready Program Graduates

September 28, 2016 - Women In Bio's Inaugural Boardroom Ready Program for Executives Commences at George Washington University

August 23, 2016 - 20 Executives Selected for Women In Bio’s First Boardroom Ready Class

June 2, 2016 - Women In Bio to Host Series of Events for Women Executives in Life Sciences at the BIO International Convention

May 19, 2016 - Women In Bio Launches Executive-Level Certification Program to Prepare Women in Life Sciences for Board of Directors Role


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