Corporate Governance

Get Board Ready with Veteran Corporate Director Betsy Atkins

In observance of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Governance Clearinghouse is publishing a series of articles focused on gender balance on corporate boards.


In observance of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Governance Clearinghouse is publishing a series of articles focused on gender balance on corporate boards. The series will highlight several facets of this complex issue, including pathways to board diversity, best practices of companies that have achieved gender parity in the boardroom, and the steps aspiring women directors can take to become “board ready.” 

Betsy Atkins is a three-time CEO, serial entrepreneur and corporate governance expert, having served on over 30 boards. 

I wrote my upcoming book BE BOARD READY: The Secrets to Landing a Board Seat and Being a Great Director as a guide for talented women who seek to be board ready and serve as high-impact, high-value contributing board members. I’ve had a number of opportunities to speak about board service, but one recent experience in particular was the catalyst for this book. Nasdaq invited me to participate on a panel with three other talented women directors, addressing an audience of over 100 aspiring women directors about the topic of board readiness. The Q&A segment following the panel discussion, and subsequent conversations with attendees who reached out to me afterward, made it clear there is a deep thirst for information about the path to board service. 

Chapter Two of BE BOARD READY, which is shared here, takes a deep dive into the process of developing a pipeline of contacts that will lead you to prospective boards. Women professionals who aspire to board service need to elevate their networks to achieve their career aspirations. Developing relationships is like investing money in the bank and should be approached with the same discipline. This chapter from my book outlines best practices for expanding and leveraging your professional networks as you grow in your career. I hope these ideas will resonate as you read this excerpt from BE BOARD READY

Whether you are an aspiring director who wants to join a board for the first time or are already on a board and looking for insights on how to be a great director, join me to celebrate the release of my new book in New York on Tuesday, April 9 or in San Francisco on Thursday, April 11. You must RSVP to attend as space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

To learn more and RSVP >> 

Read Chapter Two, Business Development >> 

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Betsy Atkins

Betsy Atkins is a three-time CEO, serial entrepreneur, and founder of Baja Ventures. She co-founded technology, CPG and energy companies. She has a proven track record as a operational executive who has led companies to successful IPOs/acquisitions. Betsy is a corporate governance expert who is committed to helping to make boards a competitive asset. Her vast board experience encompasses such industries as technology, retail, hospitality, defense, manufacturing, and industrial automation. Betsy harnesses contemporary knowledge of digital technology to reduce costs and drive efficiency/productivity using AI machine-learning analytics to streamline processes, engage consumers, and drive growth. For 20 years, she has worked behind the scenes at companies like Volvo Cars, Chico’s, Vonage, Darden Restaurants, Wynn Resorts Inc., Nasdaq, HealthSouth, Wix, Home Depot Supply, and Polycom among others. She has served on over 30 public boards and been through 13 IPOs.

Read Betsy's Bio