Meet Lucinda Duncalfe, Start-Up Pioneer
Founder/CEO of AboveBoard, an inclusive platform for executive search
Lucinda Duncalfe is the founder of AboveBoard, an executive hiring platform connecting qualified executives with full-time and board opportunities. Study after study proves that installing leaders with different backgrounds serves shareholders, employees and the broader society. But the current approach to executive hiring depends too often on closed networks and processes with no transparency, a strategy which leads to a lack of diversity in hiring.
Lucinda is revolutionizing the way leadership roles are filled — opening them up on an inclusive platform so that everyone qualified has access rather than just those in existing networks. AboveBoard creates a fundamental shift in the dynamic of executive hiring, one that is overdue and can have far-reaching social impact.
Lucinda has had a truly remarkable career, beginning in the male-dominated tech startup industry of the mid-90’s. She’s founded three companies and led many others. Lucinda has earned accolades at the highest levels in the start-up world — like EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Enterprises Award’s CEO of the Year — and is much in demand as a public speaker. She has traveled the world — including a trip kayaking north of the Arctic Circle as part of leadership training. And to top it off, Lucinda is also a Shotokan Karate instructor. And in 2017 she was named Senior Women’s Kumite US National Champion at the International Shotokan Karate Federation
Tell us a bit about your company
AboveBoard is an inclusive platform for executive hiring. We open up access to top opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups.
What inspired you to start your business / what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?
I saw a way to open up the opaque process of executive placement to a) give women and POC unprecedented access to opportunity b) give companies an alternative to headhunters c) build a huge company d) make the world a better place — diverse teams make better business decisions that are better for society and the environment.
What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?
8,000+ executives have joined since we launched in October 2020! Clients include General Catalyst, Insight Partners, Warburg Pincus and other bluechip firms.
What about your personal background, experience, or perspective fuels your passion for this venture?
I’ve experienced every side of the problem we’re solving.
What has been one or two of the biggest learnings so far?
The right partners can mean everything in getting early momentum.
What is an obstacle you anticipate grappling with as you continue to build this venture?
How to maintain focus — we’re being pulled into new geographies, industries, etc before we’re ready.
What are a surprise or two that you’ve encountered as an entrepreneur?
Things that seem obvious aren't - you have to explain anything new over and over and over again.