No doubt you’ve got what it takes (and more) to excel on a high profile corporate board, and the experience and exposure could skyrocket your career. But how do you get a seat at the table? 

The odds are in your favor. 2009 was the year for women and corporate boards. In December alone, 30 women were appointed to company boards in 15 states, joining the ranks of 235 other women who broke through that glass ceiling last year. The great news: the trend shows companies and shareholders finally understand that boards with women perform better than all-male groups – and women are now in higher demand for those seats.

Want your piece of the pie? “Boards want people with the confidence that comes from knowing the value they bring into the boardroom,” says Elizabeth Ghaffari, Champion Boards founder and author of Outstanding in Their Field: How Women Corporate Directors Succeed. “Ask yourself: ‘What do you add to the business that will ensure its success over the long term?’ The goal is not simply to stand out, but to build an outstanding career worthy of a board role.”

RJC Associates, and Fortune offer strategies for courting board seats – like seeking out opportunities to run a P&L and getting on the search firms’ radars.

Need some support? Get involved with organizations designed to help women on boards succeed, like the Board of Directors Network. And check out Women in the Boardroom, an annual event in 15 cities nationwide. 

Bonus PINK link: Here are 10 ways to break into the boardroom.

By Caroline Cox

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doors. But
above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach

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