Broadrooms is an informational resource for women who serve, or want to serve, on corporate boards. The name was suggested by Microsoft Word autocorrect, whose serendipitous retyping of ‘boardrooms’ struck a chord with founder, Gerri Elliott.
For Elliott, who championed diversity throughout a long career in corporate leadership, helping women get on boards is all about broadening and enriching the conversations in the boardroom by bringing new voices and ideas to the fore. It’s proven that board diversity benefits the bottom line, yet less than 20% of corporate directors are women.
Why? Most board members are invited to serve by someone in their personal network – usually someone who’s already a board member. Since women are underrepresented in boardrooms, those invitations are much harder to come by.
That was the case for Elliott. She assumed that after retiring from a stellar career at some of America’s top companies and setting her sights on board service, all she had to do was put out the word to a handful of women in her network and offers would flow in.
She soon realized that an engraved invitation would not be arriving in the mail. She needed a plan, so she began her research on the Net. What she found was dozens of sites about board directors – all with only slivers of information, specific to their company’s services or their membership community.
Nowhere did she find a comprehensive, end-to-end view of how to research opportunities and prepare for board service, or a place where current directors could share their wisdom and experiences.
Through networking, assistance from some great recruiters and painstaking research, Elliott eventually pieced together an eight-step plan that landed her three board seats. She knew that there were more success stories and more plans that needed to be shared. That, and an unshakeable belief that the world would be a better place if more women served on boards, inspired her to found Broadrooms.
Founder, Broadrooms LLC
Director, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Imperva, Whirlpool