Board Registries and Marketplaces

While the support for adding women and minorities to Boards began in earnest a decade or two ago,
there has been a significant ramp-up in the past few years – both in the maturity and sophistication of
existing programs and an increase in new entrants. There are now numerous private, association
sponsored, and university-based programs to educate, support, and certify Board/Board-ready
candidates. There has also been the emergence of registries for Board-ready candidates and Board

In 2022, The Athena Alliance identified some of the key registries and marketplaces in one of their



Along with all of this, a recent study, published for subscribers of The Review of Financial Studies, July
2021, basically concludes that director appointments are (still) heavily driven by “who you know”. What
is new from this study is its conclusion that this is actually good – that there is a compelling case for the
use of professional networks for sourcing candidates who are connected to Board members (not to the
CEO) to appoint directors. It found that this can add value in facilitating Board coordination, improving
diversity, attracting more shareholder votes, and often increasing the firm’s stock price.