Board Leadership

WNLI Board Leadership Initiative

While women play key roles in leading and driving work in companies and organizations, they remain disproportionally
underrepresented on boards and committees across for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In Summit County, women of color in particular are underrepresented across private, nonprofit, and public senior leadership. To address this gap, the Women’s Network Leadership Institute, a program of the Greater Akron Chamber, has launched the Women’s Board Leadership Initiative.

Board Leadership
Initiative Goals:

  • Increase the visibility of women interested in serving on boards and committees in Greater Akron
  • Create greater access and connectivity between women interested in serving on boards and committees, and companies/organizations looking
    for board members
  • Develop and strengthen the pipeline of female leaders who are engaged in and leading work in the Greater Akron region
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Why Join a Board
or Committee?

Joining a board or committee creates new opportunities that strengthen the impact of women in the workforce. Benefits to board and committee service include the opportunity to:

Strengthen your networks and relationships, which creates opportunities for career advancement

Acquire new skills and broaden perspectives

Establish leadership credentials independent of your professional role

Leverage strengths to make an impact on the community you serve

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Interested in Joining a
Board or Committee?

Let us help! Whether you’re a seasoned board member or looking to begin board or committee service, the WNLI Board Leadership Initiative can help. We are collecting profiles of women interested in service on boards or committees and will share them with companies and organizations looking for board or committee members. Through this work, your visibility as a prospective board or committee member will be elevated in the community, increasing the opportunities for board invitations.

Get Started

Complete the form below to illustrate your experience, interests, and other information that will help companies and organizations understand the value you can bring to their board.

What’s Next?

We will collect profiles from women interested in serving on boards through May 31, 2024.

All profiles will be compiled into a directory, which will be updated on a quarterly basis beginning in Summer 2024.

The directory will be shared with companies and organizations in Greater Akron and will be used to identify women for board service, when opportunities arise.

As opportunities arise, board candidates will be contacted by companies/organizations seeking new board members; The WNLI will also share new opportunities as they come up.

Additional Resources

Business Volunteers Unlimited is an incredible resource for companies looking to diversify their boards. Through their Minority Pipeline Initiative, BVU works to connect people of color to board service, free of charge.

Need a Headshot?
We can help!

If you don’t have a headshot or need an update, complete the form below. Headshots are priced at $50 and include a 20-minute session, up to 3 images and minor editing.

Diversifying your Board or Committee

Have you been selecting your board or committee candidates from the same list year after year? Are you competing with other organizations who are looking for the same candidates? The WNLI Board Leadership Initiative is here to help you access a new pool of candidates.

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Why Diversify your
Board or Committee?

Diverse boards and committees perform better. They benefit from more innovation, different viewpoints and methods of problem-solving, more creativity, and a stronger connection with a wide range of stakeholders and consumers, among others.

Why Women?

  • Performance: Companies and organizations with women directors on their board perform better than those without women.
  • Increased pool of talent and perspectives: Women earn 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, over 62 percent of master’s degrees, and 53 percent of degrees such as PhDs, medical degrees, and law degrees in the United States – think about all of the opportunity for these leaders to drive the work of your board.
  • Strategy: Boards with women directors deal more effectively with risk and focus more strongly on long-term priorities.
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Why Now?

In Greater Akron, there are boards and committees looking for women and women looking for opportunities to lead through board service. Despite the desire to diversify boards and committees, disconnect between candidates and board opportunities persists, particularly for women of color. The WNLI Board Leadership Initiative bridges these groups and makes identifying female board candidates easier, while also increasing the visibility and engagement of these female leaders in our community. 

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Take Action

If you’re interested in receiving the directory for women in Greater Akron who are interested in serving on boards or committees, please email Brynn Popa, SVP of Strategic Initiatives and Engagement at bpopa@greaterakronchamber.org.

You will be added to the distribution list and will receive the directory several times a year. Once you receive the directory, you may reach out to candidates you feel are best suited for your board – and if you make a match using our directory, please send us a note.

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SVP, Strategic Initiatives and Engagement



SVP, Strategic Initiatives and Engagement



SVP, Strategic Initiatives and Engagement