Global Women on Boards - Focus on Africa

Opportunities for Mentors/Speakers/Facilitators

In 2020, women held 22.6% of the seats on global boards. The numbers in Africa are worse; in the continent’s top 307 companies, only 14% of board seats are held by women, according to a 2019 report by the African development bank. 

The lack of women in this critical role is not simply an issue of gender parity. It translates to lost opportunities for business. Women, and women of color, bring different perspectives and experiences to the table, which in turn can help identify and address blind spots and biases that exist within the boardroom. Studies show that gender diversity on boards can lead to better decision making, improved financial performance, and enhanced corporate social responsibility.

An opportunity for Columbia affiliates to be part of the change

The Global Women on Boards program, in partnership with the Global Centers in Nairobi, is seeking five Columbia-affiliated experts, faculty, alumni, or Obama Fellows - with Corporate Board experience - to provide one to three hours of their time for a unique program designed to empower a select cohort of African women to become successful members of progressive boards.

For more info go to

Deadline: May 13, 2023

Faculty interested in becoming mentors/speakers/facilitators, write to Pauline Muthoni at [email protected]

Duration of program

June - November, 2023 (6 months)


Total time required

1-3 hours  


Openings (virtual) 

1 Speaker - 1 hour, June 8th, to launch the program virtually

  • Qualifications:

1 Keynote Speaker - 1 hour for graduation ceremony on November 17th

  • Qualifications:

2 Mentors - 1 hour mentorship session on ______

  • Qualifications: Corporate governance experience

1 Facilitator - 3 hour corporate governance module on July 5th

  • Qualifications: 

Expertise needed:

Corporate Governance, Risk & Finance, Board Dynamics, Board Leadership Presence, and Board Profiling. 

Background and more information:  

The Global Women on Boards (GWOB) program is designed to equip new, aspiring, and  existing women directors with the competencies, knowledge and gravitas required to  participate effectively on boards. As a women-only programme, it provides a safe platform for women to openly share experiences, ask questions and learn in a closed conducive  environment. 

The 6-month program provides targeted development and mentorship to help women understand the skills required and gain practical insights in preparing and equipping them for their board journey. Each participant is assigned to a mentor, with board experience, who will share experience, provide guidance and advice to support the mentee to successfully navigate  the board environment. 

Participants are offered a series of learning modules that takes them through the essentials of global boardroom trends, corporate governance, risk and finance, board dynamics, board leadership presence, and board profiling. The journey culminates with a board simulation, which allows the delegates to apply the knowledge and learning gained in a safe space. Throughout the program, the participants are guided and supported by international mentors with board experience.  The GWOB program partnered with the Nairobi Center to help connect it to Columbia faculty.