The idea for WBL was formulated by Lynn Shapiro Snyder in late 2000. During a series of business meetings, Lynn noticed that women were seeming to "take over the health care industry.” More and more often, when she met with boards and executive teams, there would be a woman as part of the group across the table.
Lynn gathered a group of 60 or so of her contacts and acquaintances and began reaching out through one-on-one calls to see if WBL was an idea that resonated with them. Would these women be interested in meeting a group of their peers at other companies to talk about health care, business, and the unique challenges of being women leaders? The answer was a resounding "yes.”
WBL’s Steering Committee -- a group of industry leaders who would later become the WBL Advisory Board -- met near Washington, DC in 2001 to figure out the details. The inaugural WBL annual meeting was held in March 2001 in Virginia and the group photo graced the cover of Modern Healthcare magazine, proving that women leaders in health care were here to stay.
WBL began publishing a helpful, concise, easy to read board-resource, "Answering the Call: Understanding the Duties, Risks & Rewards of Corporate Governance” in 2003. This book outlines what current and prospective directors need to know and expect from board service. This book is now in its fourth edition.
A network of 60 women has grown to include more than 3,500 women in the United States and worldwide who consider themselves WBL members. WBL has hosted 15 successful annual Summits, helped over 25 companies find board members using its network, and hosted numerous successful regional events across the U.S.