The Chicago Network


The 2008 establishment of the Women on Boards Committee was the outgrowth of TCN’s annual Census Report, published since 1998. The Census Report provides statistics and analysis on the representation of women in officer/senior executive positions and on boards of directors of Chicagoland’s largest public companies. When the 2006 census reported the first decline in women’s representation on boards since 1998, despite a larger pool of director positions, TCN’s board of directors decided to establish an initiative to be proactive in advancing gender diversity on corporate boards.

To facilitate our qualified Network members in pursuing their goals of joining public and private company boards of directors, the Women on Boards Committee has offered a holistic approach to train and mentor our members. Past programs have addressed director resume drafting, director interview process and a best practices and problem solving governance boot camp. The Women on Boards Committee has compiled a list of Director Education Resources to assist Network members in preparing themselves for board positions.

Through its board placement initiative, Network members utilize their experience and contacts, on a pro bono basis, assisting retained search firms and companies to provide qualified candidates for all types of corporate boards and high level nonprofit boards. In the first three years of the initiative (2009-2011), the Women on Boards Committee has participated in 32 searches and has been successful with nine Board placements:


  • Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC
  • Standard Bank & Trust
  • Unitrin (now Kemper)


  • BMO Financial Group
  • Integrys Energy Group
  • Manpower Group
  • Rush University Medical Center


  • Patina Solutions
  • Rush University Medical Center


  • BMO Harris Financial

CEO Interviews


For those interested in finding qualified board of director candidates: 
Please contact Kate Bensen, Executive Director of TCN. Kate will connect you with the Women on Boards Committee member responsible for board searches.
Kate may be reached at 312-787-1990 or
Links of interest

Directors and Boards: Make the Board a Mosaic of Talent

Stocks Perform Better if Women are on Boards

More Women in the Boardroom Can Mean a Bigger Bottom Line


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The Chicago Network  |  211 E. Ontario, Suite 1700  |  Chicago  |  IL  |  60611-3272  |  (312) 787-1979