Are you Ready to Serve on a Board: A conversation with Cindy Gallop

Cindy’s LinkedIn profile says it all, “I like to blow sh*t up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”

Gallop is a champion of women’s right and issues. She’s the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, a site for real world sex. Prior to entering the startup world, she was Chairman/President of Bartle Bogel Hegarty US, a global ad agency.

In a captivating conversation with Cindy Gallop, the very first guest on our podcast “Unlocking the Boardroom,” we explored key insights on board-readiness. Here are the highlights:

Personal Brand Building

As an executive, you must first define your values, what you believe in, and what you care about in order to be able to choose which company to work for and progress in your career. Working for organizations that share your values will propel your career towards the boardroom, as those who don’t share your values may hinder your progress.

Board readiness

Board readiness is a state of mind. You are board ready when you decide that you are at the point in your career where you believe you can contribute to a board and have the desire to be on one. A very eye-opening book we encourage you to read for this purpose is titled “Why do so many incompetent people become leaders and how to fix it?” written by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.

Personal strategy for a board career

Networking is of paramount importance when preparing for a board career. You need to be visible and raise your profile in the business world, especially on LinkedIn which has immense reach. Don’t shy away from talking about your business successes and your philosophy of business. In your profile description, talk about yourself as a board director or a board director in waiting. When you put the words “board director” on your LinkedIn profile, you will come up in searches that people make for board candidates.

Champions vs Mentors

Encouraging women to find champions rather than mentors, Cindy highlights the importance of individuals who actively make things happen for you. Champions are those who go above and beyond, advocating for your success. As Cindy quoted: “There can be a tendency for the word mentor to sound very advisory, a lot of talking. I am a naturally action-oriented person who feels there is far too much talking in the world and too little doing. So I urge women to find champions because champions are people who make shit happen for you.”

Champions are the ones who slam their fist on the table during closed boardroom meetings and say, “There is only room for one pay raise in my budget, and it’s going to Jane, not John.”


To gain more insights from Cindy Gallop’s episode, tune in to the full episode of our podcast “Unlocking the Boardroom.”