Expanding the Pool

A few years ago, I decided it was time for a new challenge, a new career per se. I was probably a chameleon in my other life. I am quite good at reinvention but always keeping the dots from my past with me. I started to think about getting on more mature private boards. So I began exploring.

I spoke to several companies and recruiters. It didn’t take much of a learning curve to see that I did not fit into the pool. The pool consists of people who have the right degrees, the right schools, corporate-type experiences, or an experience of building something substantial from scratch. I have done the latter, but that was in my garment center life, and actually, my fingers were deep in that at Silicon Alley Reporter too. And, after that, I resigned from the position of building other men’s companies.

Diversity is finally forcing the pool to look for some new faces, and now it is a larger pool when it comes to women on boards. There are so many brilliant women out there that would be valuable board members coming with a completely different sense of how they look at the world, and the business.

I challenge all the board members to take just one seat and fill it with something out of the pool. At non-profits, take a few seats and fill them with artists, writers, community members who might not write a check, but they can give in so many others ways. Their voice is probably worth more than anyone can imagine.

I have moved on from the board seat search, and I am excited about what I am working on now. More on that later. The bottom line, the pool has to grow, and the lifeguards have to look outside the pool too.