A scheme has been set up to train budding directors and widen the pool of candidates for the country's boards.
Sir Stephen Tindall, Institute of Directors' chairman Michael Stiassny and the Shareholders Association have launched an initiative called Future Directors.
The Warehouse and Auckland International Airport have already taken on highly skilled people to develop their experience as directors and they are now attending meetings as observers for a year.
They will have to respect confidentiality and other obligations which form part of a director's duties, and will not participate in decision making votes or attend sensitive meetings.
The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall says if enough other organisations do this, the talent pool will grow, and there will be more age and gender diversity in boardrooms.
Auckland Airport chair Joan Withers says the initiative is a practical way to provide a safe environment for potential directors to learn the skills of the job.