What We Do

Uncovering the best practices of the best diverse boards

We formed Better Boards out of a conviction that diverse corporate boards have the power to make the world a better place, creating more equitable workplaces, thriving communities and a fairer society.

To capture the best practices of boards that capitalize on diversity, we interviewed 100 corporate directors – 50 men, 50 women, 40% people of color in line with the U.S. census. These thought leaders shared best practices on inclusion, recruiting, onboarding, board dynamics and leadership. They also shared insight on the growing impact of boards in a time of ESG and a more stakeholder driven approach.

We draw upon our extensive board governance, leadership development and coaching experience informed by both experience and our ground-breaking research. We coach aspiring and new board members to contribute from day one. We consult with boards to create the culture and systems for better organizations and a better world. Our research is the foundation for:

  • Broad-based awareness and education
  • Board and candidate development programs focused on women and people of color
  • Consulting to support diversity initiatives
  • Coaching of first time and aspiring directors

Founders

Founder

Cate Goethals

Cate Goethals is committed to building stronger corporate leadership by opening pathways for more excellent women and people of color to contribute their voices in the executive suite and boardroom. She has inspired hundreds of women and men to succeed as leaders by celebrating difference and helping organizations and their boards to capitalize on the benefits of diversity.

Cate Goethals is committed to building stronger corporate leadership by opening pathways for more excellent women and people of color to contribute their voices in the executive suite and boardroom. She has inspired hundreds of women and men to succeed as leaders by celebrating difference and helping organizations and their boards to capitalize on the benefits of diversity.

Author of groundbreaking research, “The Better Boards Report,” on the added value gender diversity brings to the board table, Cate is founder and director of the University of Washington Foster School of Business Women Board Director Development Program, the first program of its kind in the U.S.

A longtime consultant and leadership development professor, Cate has created multiple programs promoting diversity in corporate leadership, including MBA Women at the Top, named a “Top 10” innovative class by Forbes, and “Better Together” a program promoting allyship across gender and ethnicity.

Cate is a certified executive coach whose practice focuses on diverse leaders who share her passion for making their organizations – and thus the world – a better and more collaborative place as they advance in their careers. She also serves as Chief Journey Advisor to the Athena Alliance, an organization dedicated to guiding women to seats on boards of directors.

Founder

Joanna Lohkamp

Joanna is an NACD Leadership Fellow with more than 10 years experience as a director, having served as Board Chairman as well as Chair of Audit/Risk, Compensation and Nominating & Governance. Currently, she serves as Non-Executive Director and Audit & Risk committee chair of Woods Bagot Holdings Pty Ltd and Independent Director of Smart Wires Technology.

Joanna is an NACD Leadership Fellow with more than 10 years experience as a director, having served as Board Chairman as well as Chair of Audit/Risk, Compensation and Nominating & Governance. Currently, she serves as Non-Executive Director and Audit & Risk committee chair of Woods Bagot Holdings Pty Ltd and Independent Director of Smart Wires Technology.

As a champion of board governance and diversity, Joanna serves on the NACD Northwest board, co-chairs Women Corporate Directors (Seattle chapter), serves on the Stanford Women on Boards Board Match Committee, and chaired the 20/20 Women on Boards Seattle events for three years.

In addition to her board focus, Joanna has CEO and CFO global operating experience across multi-sectors. Her unique background spans high-growth Fortune 50 (Intel), emerging and mid-market private companies, as well as turnarounds.

She holds a BA from Stanford and an MBA from University of California, Berkeley.

Advisors

Susan Angele

Senior Advisor, Board Governance - KPMG Board Leadership Center

Stephen Babson

Director – Columbia Sportswear Company, Pendleton Woolen Mills, ATL Technology, Entek, Pacific Market International, Pacific Star Communications, OFD Foods, USNR

Patty Bedient

Director – Alaska Air Group (LID), Park Hotels and Resorts, Suncor Energy, Inc.

Martha Bejar

Director – Lumen Technologies, Commvault Systems, Inc, Quadient SA, Sportsman’s Warehouse

Adriane Brown

Director – American Airlines Group, Axon, eBay, KKR, Washington Research Foundation

Colleen Brown

Director - Big 5 Sporting Goods, Delta Dental of Washington, Port Blakely, Spark Networks, TrueBlue, Inc.

Phyllis Campbell

Director – Air Transport Services Group, SanMar, Allen Institute

Anna Catalano

Director - Appvion, Frontdoor, HollyFrontier Corporation, Kraton Corporation, Willis Towers Watson

Hope Cochran

Director - Hasbro, MondoDB, New Relic

Fred Diaz

Director - Archer Aviation & Aerospace, Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., SiteOne Landscape

Ana Dutra

Director - CME Group, Elkay Manufacturing, First Internet Bank, Harvest Health & Recreation

Jonathan Foster

Director - Berry Global, Five Point Holdings, Lear Corporation, Masonite International Corporation

Rick Fox

Director - Frontdoor, Univar, LiveRamp, Pinnacle West Capital, CorneaGen, HonorHealth, SightLife

James Lam

Director - E*TRADE, Recology, RiskLens

Zander Lurie

Zander Lurie

Director - Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey), GoPro, Grokker

Michael-Millegan

Michael Millegan

Director - AXIS, Wireless Technology Group, Portland General Electric, CoreSite Realty

Louis Miramontes

Director - Lithia, Oportun Financial Corporation, Rite Aid

Deanna Oppenheimer

Director - Hargreaves Lansdown (Chair), Thomson Reuters, Slalom, Joshua Green Corporation, Tesco plc

William "Bill" Owens

Director - Wipro Technologies, Red Bison, Know Labs, Inc., Tethr, Kyrrex, TruU, Versium

Myrna Soto

Director - Spirit Airlines, Popular, Inc., TriNet, CMS Energy, HeadSpace Health, ThycoticCentrify

Ed Thomas

Managing Partner, Deloitte Seattle

Wendy Webb

Director - AppFolio, Wynn Resorts, ABM Industries, American Homes 4 Rent

Kelvin Westbrook

Kelvin Westbrook

Director - Archer Daniels Midland, Camden Property Trust, The Mosaic Co, T-Mobile US

Bob Wolfe

Director - Symetra Financial Corp., Toyota AI Ventures, Red Lion Hotels Corp.

ProBono Team

Monica Barrera

MBA Consultant

Evan Hallock

MBA Consultant

Kiara Littlejohn

MBA Consultant

Christine Wainwright

MBA Consultant

Mikaela Winter

MBA Consultant

Aggie Clark

BBI Board Chair

Better Boards Initiative

Learn more about Our Research

Our Research