164: The Boardroom Reimagined | Diana Markaki

Diana Markaki is the founder of The Boardroom, the first private members club for women executives who aspire to become board members. Diana is originally from Greece (Athens) and began her professional life as a corporate lawyer working in New York and London. After a number of years she decided to transition into business and secured her first board appointment at the age of 34. Diana actually came up with the idea for The Boardroom during her executive MBA studies at Harvard University which was the catalyst for Diana wanting to know more about how she and other women could become successful board members.

Even with all of Diana’s success, sacrifice and professional credentials she appreciated the need for more effort to assist women internationally to make sure they had access and opportunity to senior level appointments. Diana acknowledges the privileges that she has personally experienced but this has only strengthened her desire to create a social mobility pathway for others to accelerate their professional careers and influence.

The Boardroom is only 2 years old and was born from a LinkedIn post in January 2021 after Diana had lost her father during the Pandemic. After a few days Diana started to receive hundreds of messages from other women supporting her idea and passion. She created a team of founding members who focused on working with large corporations (with the power, influence and finances) to create change, from her base in Zurich Switzerland. She describes The Boardroom as a boot strapped mission driven start up. She invested her own family money into the creation of The Boardroom which now works with over 100 large organisations across Europe from bases in 6 countries expanding to 12 countries in the new year, each with it’s own private Clubhouse.

Diana explains about the European Directives in place that focus on assisting the number of women being represented on Boards of listed companies, however she also explains how regulation can actually be counter productive and so her focus remains on the social perspective as opposed to the simple legal requirement for gender equality.

Merit is non-negotiable and The Boardroom gathers momentum in re-writing the rules one woman at a time.


Heidrick and Struggles is proudly supporting The Boardroom in London and Europe as we are passionate about building bridges and true collaboration for the benefit of all.


Listen to the full episode here!