Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Women on Boards: Building Exceptional Leaders, you will:

  • Refine and enhance your professional brand to strengthen your board candidacy
  • Receive practical guidance for building your board CV and professional biography, as well as expertly using social media and LinkedIn
  • Learn to network effectively with board decision makers
  • Determine which board opportunities are the best for you, and negotiate for them
  • Grasp the fundamental obligations and duties of board members
  • Get invaluable advice from experienced guest speakers about board service

Experience and Impact

Currently, only about 22 percent of board seats at publicly traded U.S. companies are held by women. But many firms are working to increase board diversity, and legislation is pending that could yield up to 6,000 new board seats for women. Similar efforts are ongoing in Europe and Asia.

Given this promising trend, executive women who have been thinking about board service should act now to prepare themselves for these opportunities. Both practical and inspiring, Women on Boards will boost your chances of rising to the top of the list when firms are looking to fill a seat.

You will explore how to build your personal brand. You will learn to strategically use social media, choose the right speaking engagements, construct a powerful network, and more. Moreover, get in-depth guidance for putting together your board bio, CV, and LinkedIn profile. With these skills in your arsenal, you can become a recognized expert in your field so boards will seek you out.

Cultivating relationships with existing board members will be discussed. But you will also learn how to market yourself to other key players such as nomination committees, search firms, consulting firms, and external counsel. These roles are becoming increasingly important as boards face pressure to put together broader, more diverse pools of candidates.

You will determine which board opportunities are the best fit for you, and the right questions to ask when considering a seat. Plus, investigate paid versus volunteer positions, and the kinds of compensation packages you should advocate for.

This program will also give you a strong foundation for serving in your first director role. Explore how to navigate the politics and culture of the boardroom, and discover how to make your voice heard. Find out how to look for red flags in accounting, compensation, and succession, and learn other board fundamentals. You will discuss social movements such as MeToo and Black Lives Matter, emerging threats such as disruptive technology, and ways to monitor these trends on behalf of all stakeholders.

In addition, Women on Boards will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to meet and network with other high-level executive women. With this program, expect to have your confidence increased and to acquire the tools you need to win that first public company board seat.

Session topics include:

  • Executive Compensation
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Marketing Yourself: Building Your CV
  • Networking
  • Leading through Uncertainty
  • Environmental Governance
  • Balancing Stakeholders: Making Complex Decisions

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Guest Speakers

Shellye Archambeau

Shellye Archambeau

Fortune 500 board member; Former CEO of MetricStream; Advisor; Author

Shellye Archambeau is an experienced CEO and board director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high-performance teams, and organizations. Archambeau currently serves on the boards of Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies, and Okta. She is also a strategic advisor to Forbes Ignite and the president of Arizona State University, and serves on the board of two national nonprofits, Catalyst and Braven.

Archambeau has over 30 years of experience in technology. She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based governance, risk, and compliance software company. During her tenure, MetricStream grew from a fledgling startup into a global market leader.

She is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms, a book that will inspire you and provide the tools to enable you to fight the battles, make the trade-offs, and create the life you want. She is also a Forbes contributor and the protagonist of the Harvard Business School case study “Becoming a CEO.”

Archambeau enjoys the performing arts; traveling; cooking; and writing a blog that provides career advice, insights, and other musings ( She is on social media at @shelarchambeau.

Pauline Brown

Pauline Brown

Former Chairman of North America for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

For nearly 30 years, Pauline Brown has acquired, built, and led the world’s most influential global luxury brands. Most recently, she served as the chairman of North America for the world’s leading luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where she provided regional leadership for about 70 brands in five sectors including fashion and leather goods, watches and jewelry, perfume and cosmetics, wine and spirits, and selective retailing. While at LVMH, Brown also served on the board of L Capital, a private equity fund backed by LVMH, as well as on the boards of several LVMH subsidiaries including Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, and Fresh Cosmetics. In 2016, Brown joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where she introduced a new interdisciplinary course for graduate students named “The Business of Aesthetics.” In 2018, she decided to write a book based on the learnings and insights from her HBS course. The book, entitled Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond, will be released by HarperCollins this November.

Pauline Brown boasts unparalleled expertise when it comes to understanding why long-term financial value in today’s world rests on an ability to deliver aesthetic value. Touching on the strategies that have built consumer demand and loyalty for booming brands in the age of Amazon, she explains how such companies are rewarded not only for eliciting a high degree of pleasure in those who buy their goods and services, but also for spurring desirability among others who aspire to them. Brown focuses on helping business leaders discern, appraise, and enhance their companies by tapping into the power of their own senses — a critical and oftentimes under-developed skill set for corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and investors alike — as well as helping them analyze the issues and challenges of running an aesthetic business from a strategic, financial, organizational, and cultural vantage.

In addition to her operational experience in the luxury goods sector, Pauline Brown also boasts a successful track record as an investor in luxury brands. Before joining LVMH, she was a managing director at private equity firm The Carlyle Group, where she helped build the firm’s global consumer and retail practice, co-led deals, and served on the boards of portfolio companies including the European sportswear brand Moncler and the American beauty brand Philosophy. Earlier in her career, Brown held senior executive positions in the global beauty industry including head of corporate strategy and new business development at The Estée Lauder Companies. There, she led all mergers, acquisitions, and licensing activities and helped to expand Estée Lauder’s portfolio from eight to 25 distinct beauty brands. She reported to the company’s CEO and was a member of its executive committee. Brown began her career as a management consultant at Bain & Company.

Since 2008, Brown has been a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a program that seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders. In 2013, she joined the board of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program. She also currently sits on the boards of the Parsons School of Design and is a former board member of the National Retail Federation, Fashion Group International, and Cosmetic Executive Women.

Brown received an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from Dartmouth College. She is a member of Wharton’s Executive Alumni Board and a former member of Dartmouth’s Alumni Council.

Kathleen Crandall

Kathleen Crandall

Expert in personal branding, executive coach and public speaker

Kathleen Crandall is a nationally known expert and thought leader in personal branding, a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, and coach to executives and leaders. The founder of Know My Impact, she created the IMPACT Personal Branding Experience™, a powerful process and coaching curriculum that has helped thousands achieve personal and professional success through the power of their personal impact and brand.

Kathleen spent more than 20 years as an executive in public relations, advertising, and corporate brand development. She is an adjunct facilitator with Twin Cities-based non-profits HIRED and Goodwill Easter Seals and a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for distinguished senior-level female executives who aspire to serve on a corporate board or have recently been nominated. Specifically, distinguished women executives who are:

    • C-suite level executives (CEO, CFO, CHRO, CSO) who are board-facing
    • Partners at accounting, consulting, and law firms
    • Recently retired or preparing for retirement and seeking opportunities to serve on a board
    • Successful entrepreneurs with a business track record or leaders of long-standing family firms or large nonprofits who aspire to serve on a corporate board

Additionally, this program will benefit executives who have non-traditional or underrepresented professional backgrounds that are currently sought out for board service, such as experience with cybersecurity, climate change, human resources, nonprofit work, community organizing, politics, corporate social responsibility, or socially responsible investing.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Mary-Hunter McDonnell

Mary-Hunter McDonnell, JD, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Organizational theory (political sociology, institutional theory); nonmarket strategy; corporate governance; corporate misconduct and punishment

Matthew Bidwell

Matthew Bidwell, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Human resource management, knowledge workers, worker mobility

Emile Feldman

Emilie Feldman, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Michael L. Tarnopol Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate governance, corporate strategy, diversification, divestitures, firm scope, spinoffs

Sarah Light

Sarah LightSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics

Erika James

Erika James, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Dean; Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Lori Rosenkopf

Lori Rosenkopf, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Simon and Midge Palley Professor; Professor of Management; Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship, The Wharton School

Michael Useem

Michael Useem, PhDSee Faculty Bio

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Professor of Management; Director, Center for Leadership and Change Management; Editor, Wharton Leadership Digest

Research Interests: Catastrophic and enterprise risk management, corporate change and restructuring, leadership, decision making, governance

Date, Location, & Fees

December 1 – 9, 2021Live Online$7,80011:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST
Five days across two weeks
Week 1: Wednesday to Friday
Week 2: Wednesday and Thursday

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

Download ScheduleApply Now

Prices are subject to change.

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