Boardlist, the online repository of board-ready women that launched in July, recently helped facilitate the placement of a woman of color to a startup’s board of directors. Karla Martin, director of global business strategy and strategic planning at Google, is Challenged’s newest board member.
“It’s not that I lack board experience, they just tend not to care about non-profit board experience as much,” Martin told TechCrunch. “And it’s an insiders club to some extent. The committees will call people they know who will send them the names of people they know.”
Martin landed on Boardlist via the recommendation of Core Ventures Group General Partner Joanna Earl, one of Boardlist’s founding members. Boardlist works by sourcing recommendations from its members, who are both male and female, to provide a platform for tech companies to discover and connect with board-ready women.
“We are thrilled to have facilitated our first placement just 60 days after launching the Boardlist,” Boardlist founder Sukhinder Cassidy (pictured above) told TechCrunch. “Interest in the Boardlist has been phenomenal and we’re working hard to make the tool the go-to resource for any tech company looking to bring a highly-qualified woman onto its Board.”
In Silicon Valley, 70 to 75 percent of tech companies have all-male boards, according to the Boardlist’s research. One reason for that could be due in part to a discovery problem, Challenged Co-Founder and President Justin Jarman told TechCrunch. He said that his network has traditionally given him access to a pool of male executives with board experience.
“Boardlist was like having an extended network of peer elected/reviewed candidates and served as an awesome catalyst in helping us find the perfect board member — seriously though, Karla is awesome,” Jarman said.”
Boardlist is currently focusing on growing its database of female board candidates as it gears up to launch a full marketplace early next year. Since launching, Boardlist has added over 40 new members to the platform, including Dick Costolo, the former CEO of Twitter, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann and Katie Stanton, head of global media at Twitter. Those members are responsible for endorsing women who would make great directors on tech boards.
Although Boardlist’s focus is currently on women, “I can see our efforts to expand to include other underrepresented areas in the future,” Cassidy said. She also envisions opening the marketplace to help source candidates for non tech boards, as well.