A few weeks ago the City of Toronto floated an idea (which has become common in many circles) that 50% of all of its Board Members must be women.
I am a woman. I am a lawyer. I sit on Boards. I do not like that idea at all.
The reason I don’t like the idea is that it immediately devalues the abilities and accomplishments of women who are appointed to Boards. Many will perceive them as being appointed due to their gender, not due to their abilities. I don’t like being reduced to a gender: if all I have to do to be on a Board is be a woman, then why did I bother with undergraduate studies and a Law Degree?
Women should be appointed to Boards because they are good at what they do. If they want to be on Boards, they should lobby for those positions the same way men do.
Don’t sit back waiting to be asked – let Boards know you want on. Let them know how qualified you are. Be appointed because of your accomplishments: it is much more satisfying.