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Step 2: Expand Your Networks

Look Beyond First Connections

The Aim

Increase the diversity of your slate of candidates to bring new insights and skills to your board.

Take Action

Leverage your key connections to identify new candidates for the board search who may be second and third-degree connections in your network, such as your professional service providers.

Expand your search beyond your existing network, tapping into organizations and professional associations.

Identify candidates' connections to the board's network.

Try these tools to expand your network



It increases board confidence to see second- or third-degree network connections, by organically identifying commonalities. The board is likely to be connected to a more diverse network of talent than they think, and we tend to underestimate the importance of the outer circle of our networks.

Why it matters

Finding these connections increases the board’s confidence in new talent, which helps you to move beyond affinity bias, increasing your board’s overall effectiveness. It's worth noting, boards don't operate under the same EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) laws as operational roles, so they can be very specific about looking only at candidates with clear-cut criteria such as gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, etc.

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*Historically Marginalized Groups: These groups are defined by historic, systemic, and ongoing (current) discrimination and oppression to the “margins” of society. Learn more about historically marginalized groups in the glossary.