The Ellevate Impact Survey is an annual survey of the members of the Ellevate community. You are reading "Section 4: Board Leadership," for more information on other sections of the survey you can navigate here:

  1. Results from Women Employees
  2. Results from Business Owners
  3. Thought Leadership
  4. Board Leadership
  5. Diversity & Inclusion

Board Leadership

One of the topics Ellevate members are most passionate about is the participation of women on Boards of Directors. Three-quarters of the Ellevate community reports wanting to get on a board of directors, and 43% count it as one of their next goals.

[Related: Why Having More Women on Boards is Good for the Environment]

Board Participation

30.36% of Ellevate members sit on a corporate or nonprofit board of directors. 16% of members were appointed to a board (either for profit (2%) or nonprofit (14%)) in 2015 (vs 18% in 2014). There has been an increase in first-time board service in 2015: for 42% of women who were appointed to a board, this is their first appointment (this number was 38% last year).

Women in law (44%), business development (38%) and finance (36%) professionals are more likely to serve on boards of directors historically. Yet the fields that are most in demand recently include engineering, product management, and IT.

[Related: How to Get on Your First Public Company Board?]


We know the gender achievement gap exists, but we can close it.

Women hold only 18% of seats on Fortune 1000 Board of Directors, and yet research shows that companies with more women on their boards perform better.

At Ellevate, we believe that if we work with companies to help them further their diversity efforts from just talk to action, we can make a difference. And above all, we believe that if we can help one woman get to the top and to a leadership position, she will help bring other women up with her. We can help achieve this by providing her with a network she can lean on and learn from.


About the Ellevate Impact Survey:

The annual Ellevate Impact Survey is a compilation of the accomplishments of the Ellevate community. Every year, we survey hundreds of professional women who are leading the charge in their fields or making their way up the ranks. We do this for several reasons:

  1. We believe women are an awesome force and we want to prove it.
  2. We want to put to rest the idea that women aren’t ambitious and don’t want to get to the top.
  3. We want to provide inspiration to all professional women out there who want to get ahead in their careers.
  4. We want to show how industries, stages in your careers, and job functions, affect your career development and career priorities.

And yes, we want to brag about the fantastic women in our Network.

Read what women who work in companies, nonprofits, or the public sector and business owners had to say.