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Press release

Berlin, December 12, 2012

European business schools/ Women on Board initiative announces Global Board Ready Women (GRBW) searchable database

  •     Group supports European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding’s Call to Action to use all talents for Europe’s corporate boardrooms
  •     Cooperation with Financial Times Non Executive Directors’ Club, LinkedIn, and BoardEx

The European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative of which ESMT European School of Management and Technology is a founding member has today announced at press conferences and via press releases around the world the formal establishment of the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) searchable database to respond to global corporate governance needs for more gender diversity on publicly quoted company boards in Europe.

During the last year and a half, Europe’s leading business schools have been working with the European Commission and Senior Executive Women to produce a Call to Action (05 December 11), Selection Criteria Guidelines and a growing list of now more than 8000 Board Ready Women (07 March /19 June 2012), This list of 8000 Board Ready Women is currently being migrated into the Global Board Ready Women searchable database.

The “Global Board Ready Women” searchable database list and forum will be administered by the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club on the global business platform, LinkedIn. The Group consists of women who already serve on a board or who are ready to take on a new mandate.  All women listed in the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) searchable database are suitable to be considered for publicly listed company board-level positions and meet a clear set of criteria as developed and defined over the last year and a half by the organization members of the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative (see below).

In addition, the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative has arranged for each of the individuals selected for the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) searchable database to be linked with BoardEx ‘s Profiles and to access BoardEx’s database of more than 500,000 corporations and companies.

Lesley Stephenson, Publisher of the FT Non Executive Directors’ Club and member of the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative commented that the “Global Board Ready Women group launched today will provide executive search firms, companies and investors and those looking to make board appointments with a list of board qualified women. Women in the Group can ensure that their profiles and experience are kept up to date while companies and recruiters can easily search and identify those candidates whose experience most closely match their requirements and contact them directly.”

Sherry Coutu, herself member of the advisory board of LinkedIn commented, “I'm extremely pleased to be part of this initiative to identify and promote the profiles of the board-ready women in the quest for a more transparent and balanced corporate governance. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for this Global Board Ready Women searchable database.”

European Commission Vice President Reding commented, “We need to use all of our society’s talents to ensure that Europe’s economy takes off.” Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner continued, “I often hear the argument that there are not enough qualified women to occupy positions in the boardroom. Today the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative is shattering those myths as well as glass ceilings! The Global Board Ready Women searchable database currently being populated from the lists of more than 8000 qualified Board Ready Women identified and compiled by them and their colleagues around the world is proof – Companies should now make use of this untapped pool of talent.”

For more information, please contact: Martha Ihlbrock, +49 (0)30 21231-1043,  

GBRW Selection Criteria

Every application to this closed group is formally assessed and reviewed and only those women who meet the criteria below are accepted.  Those participating business schools and professional organizations have applied the same criteria for their participating alumnae and members.

All women on the list must have at least 5 years’ experience in one or more of the following roles:

  •     Chair and/or NED of listed/private corporations
  •     CEO, COO, CFO or other C-suite exec/director level in listed/private corporations
  •     Family member and controlling shareholder of boards of large family companies
  •     Director of government agencies
  •     Director of non-profit orgs
  •     Institutional investment community senior professional
  •     Professional firms senior partner serving boards and their committees as clients
  •     Leading Academics with relevant experience
  •     Entrepreneur

A list of business schools and other professional groups supporting this initiative is here:

Members of the European Business School / Women On Boards Initiative
Business Schools

Cambridge Judge Business School
EDHEC Business School
EFMD – European Federation of Management Development
ESMT European School of Management and Technology
ESSEC business school
HR College of Commerce and Economics
IAUW – International Association of University Women
IFPM Female Board Pool at the University of St.Gallen
Kellogg School of Management
London Business School
Sabanci University
University of Mumbai
Professional Organizations
American Chamber of Commerce France and Spain
Bellisario Foundation
Business and Industry Advisory Council
Canadian Women in Communications
Deutscher Juristinnenbund e.V.
EPWN (European Professional Women’s Network)
Forte Foundation – Major Corporations and Business Schools
The Financial Times Non-Executive Directors' Club
GTWN - The Global Telecom Women’s Network
GGI – Geneva Group International
IFA Institut Francais des Administrateurs
International Corporate Women Directors
TIAW - The International Alliance for Women
WiTT - Women in Telecoms and Technology
WCD - Women Corporate Directors
Women’s Forum of New York
Corporate Women
Lady Barbara Judge
Bridget Cosgrave
Lori Gonnu
Cristina Vicini
Lesley Stephenson
Brigitte Boone
Candace Johnson
Audrey Mandela
Diane Morgan
Irene Navitividad
Anne Negre
Indu Shahani
Susan Ness
Marina Niforos
Ingrid Silver
Susan Stautberg
Myla Villanueva

About ESMT

ESMT European School of Management and Technology was founded in October 2002 by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, and open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership and social responsibility, European competitiveness, and the management of technology. Additionally the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is based in Berlin, Germany, with an additional campus in Schloss Gracht near Cologne, where USW Netzwerk runs the German-speaking executive education programs of the business school. ESMT is a private business school, accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, and FIBAA.