Press Mentions

  • Tampon Companies Still Boys’ Club At Executive Level

    Ring of Fire July 21, 2014

    A new article from The Huffington Post and Catalyst, an organization aimed at boosting women in business, shows that there is a glaring lack of women in executive positions, even at companies whose products are specifically marketed towards women. In the article, HuffPo and Catalyst looked at 19 companies that cater mostly to women, including “makeup purveyors, department stores, large-scale consumer goods manufacturers and women-focused clothing companies.” Just one company on their list, Avon, had a board of directors made up of mostly women.
    “The situation is similarly dismal,” says the article, “when it comes to the companies’ executive teams or the so-called C-Suite of leaders who make the major business and product decisions at large companies. Out of all the companies, just J.C. Penney has a senior leadership team that’s majority women.” The lack of women in leadership roles at these companies might help explain the failure of marketing campaigns for products used predominantly by women. The author uses a popular depilatory cream as an example.

  • Women make gains in Md. board rooms

    The Washington Post July 6, 2014

    Maryland has fewer companies, and therefore board seats, than it used to, but more of those seats are filled by women. According to Network 2000 Inc.’s 2014 Census of Women Board Directors in Maryland, women filled 86 board of director positions in the state in 2013, compared to 73 in 2012.
    “That’s a movement we love to see,” said Katherine Bays Armstrong, president of Network 2000. “I would like to believe it’s because companies are recognizing now the importance of including and increasing the women’s presence.” The total number of board seats in the state actually declined by 37 in 2013 to 646, so the percentage of seats held by women increased from 10.7 percent to 13.3 percent. That’s the greatest percentage increase that Network 2000 has seen in a single year since it began surveying companies in 2008.

  • 5 Influential women standing up for gender equality in the U.S.

    SheKnows June 19, 2014

    Stephanie Sonnabend and Malli Gero work together for gender equality with the 2020 Women on Boards campaign. The goal of this grassroots effort is to "increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20 percent or greater by the year 2020." Sitting on two boards herself, Stephanie Sonnabend, a magna cum laude Harvard graduate, was frustrated with the small number of women on boards in comparison to men. When starting the organization with Malli Gero, a public relations consultant and active women's leadership activist, the women had no idea the momentum they were to gain on this previously untouched issue. Already making a large impact, the 2020 Women on Boards campaign has already seen a 1-2 percent increase from 2012 to 2013.

  • Aberdeen Asset Management CIO wins 100 WHF 2014 European Industry Leadership Award 

    Hedgeweek June 10, 2014

    Anne Richards, chief investment officer of Aberdeen Asset Management, will be presented the 100 Women in Hedge Funds (100WHF) 2014 European Industry Leadership Award at its London Gala in October 2014.

  • Executives to focus on gender equality at event

    The Boston Globe June 10, 2014

    The effort to put working women on an equal footing with men continues to gain steam in Massachusetts, with 140 business leaders planning to meet at MIT Wednesday to discuss closing the gender wage gap and increasing the number of women on corporate boards. The event, called “Clearing the Path, ” will focus on making executives aware of the inequities and having them share ways to overcome them, organizers say — making the state more competitive. The gathering is sponsored by the Cambridge-based Alliance for Business Leadership, a group of executives and investors working to promote economic growth.
    “We are, I’m convinced, as a nation and as a Commonwealth, in the midst of one of the great global competitive environments in world history,” said Governor Deval Patrick, who is attending the gathering along with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “If we’re going to win, and I like to win, we need all the players on the field, and we need them to be ready and capable of competing, and that means you’ve got to take account of all the talent.”

  • Corporate boards in S.C. lack gender diversity

    Charleston Regional Business Journal June 2, 2014

    Nearly half of the publicly traded companies headquartered in South Carolina do not have any women on their boards of directors. According to a recent College of Charleston study, “20% by 2020: Women on Boards,” 20 of the 43 public companies based in South Carolina have no female board members. Those companies are referred to as “Zero” companies in the study. The study reports 14 “Token” companies, meaning they have one woman on their boards. At three companies, women constitute between 11% and 19% of board members — referred to as “Very Close.” Only six companies in the state are considered “Winners,” meaning 20% or more of their board members are women. The study focused on public companies because board information for private companies is not always available to the public.
    Elise Perrault, a professor at the College of Charleston’s School of Business who spearheaded the statewide study, said she was surprised by the number of boards without women in South Carolina, compared with the Northeast. She said societal pressure to include different genders and races makes boards there diverse. “The finger is publicly pointed at those firms for not including women. They are seen almost as illegitimate. ... You can’t monitor management the way you need to if you don’t have diversity,” Perrault said. “There’s no checks and balances of conflict.” A group of educators and businesspeople across the country wants to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to at least 20% by 2020. The 2020 Women on Boards coalition works nationally to push for increases.

  • Economic Outlook from the Boardroom – Perspectives from Women of the Board

    Council for Economic Education May 30, 2014

    On May 13, CEE held another exciting discussion in the Vantage Point series, covering the Economic Outlook from the Boardroom: Perspectives from Women of the Board. Held over breakfast at the Harvard Club of New York, an esteemed panel of leaders shared their insight and their own personal experience while discussing the challenges of women in the boardroom and beyond.

  • Few Women and Minorities Make it to S&P 100 Board Rooms, Executive Suites

    American Diversity Report May 30, 2014

    Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 100 companies have made some progress on corporate diversity from 2010 to 2013, but these large-capitalization companies are still failing to put substantial numbers of women and minorities into board rooms and executive suites, according to a new analysis from Calvert Investments.
    Based on the 10 diversity criteria in the Calvert report, the overall highest-rated companies are:
    Citigroup Inc.; Merck & Co., Inc.; The Coca-Cola Co.; and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Eleven companies tied for fifth place.) The five lowest-rated companies are: Berkshire Hathaway; Simon Property Group; National Oilwell Varco Inc.; Ebay; and Apache Corp. 

  • Malli Gero of 2020 Women on Boards wants women to rise to the top

    Bizwomen May 15, 2014

    Frustrated by the lack of women on the corporate boards of U.S. companies and seeing that their numbers were stagnating, Malli Gero and Stephanie Sonnabend formed 2020 Women on Boards as a call to action. Gero, who is executive director, and Sonnabend, who is chair, created the nonprofit organization in 2010 to raise the percentage of women on U.S. corporate boards to 20 percent or more by 2020. The trend so far shows some slow but steady gains. In its latest survey, the group found that the percentage of board seats held by women in its index of companies, based on the Fortune 1000 list of companies, rose to 16.6 percent in 2013, up from 15.6 percent in 2012 and 14.6 percent in 2011, the first year of the index.
    2020 Women on Boards conducts research on gender composition on boards and maintains a database of public and private companies categorized by how well they're meeting the 2020 goal. It rates companies as “W," or winning, for achieving a 20 percent rate; “V” for very close if a company has 11 to 19 percent women, “T” for token if there is only one woman; and “Z” for zero if there are no women at all.
    The organization then applauds companies that land on the “W” list for at least three straight years by naming them an “Honor Roll” company. It also spotlights companies it says have done the most to diversify their boards. Among those are Internet company Akamai, investment management company Calvert Investments, Campbell Soup Co., Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Eli Lilly and Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
    Gero, who also founded marketing communications firm Gero Communications and has served on various boards throughout her career, says companies need to realize getting better gender representation on boards can benefit businesses. “Aside from being a morally correct thing to do, it's been shown that boards with women directors are more profitable — they have better return on equity, better return on sales and better return on invested capital than boards without women,” Gero says.

  • Get on Board

    SharpHeels April 24, 2014

    Do you know what percent of the seats on corporate boards that women currently hold? Did we stump you? You are not alone. Most people are unaware of the disparity between the number of women in the workforce and their representation on corporate boards.
    “In 2013, the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 companies showed that only 16.6% of corporate directors were women. This is a small number when you consider that: women comprise about half of the total U.S. workforce; hold half of all management positions; are responsible for almost 80% of all consumer spending; and account for 10 million majority-owned, privately-held firms in the U.S., employing over 13 million people and generating over $1.9 trillion in sales.” (2020 Women On Boards)
    Stephanie Sonnabend, chair and co-founder of 2020 Women on Boards, knows that diversity is essential for successful boards, and she has made it her mission to educate others.
    Mission: ”To increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020. Diversity of thought is essential to good corporate governance. The best boards harvest diverse experience, skills, and perspective to obtain optimal decisions. These boards create better shareholder value.”
    Guiding Principles: “We practice what we preach.  We are change agents. We are believers. We will meet – and exceed our goal. Together we can make it happen!”

  • Hillary Clinton focuses on women's issues in speech at Simmons Leadership Conference

    MassLive April 23, 2014

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech on Wednesday at the Simmons Leadership Conference focused predominantly on issues affecting women in the United States and around the world. Simmons College President Helen G. Drinan, who seemed unaware that her microphone was on, said "I am shaking the hand of the next president of the United States" as Clinton came out to speak on the stage. The issue of Clinton's potential 2016 presidential run did not come up during her speech at the conference.
    Instead, she spoke of the struggles of low-wage workers in the United States, particularly women in tip-based compensation positions, including waitresses, maids, and hairdressers. Another obstacle Clinton noted American women face is the lack of paid family leave. "Only one in ten workers earning the lowest wages, most of them women, have access to paid family leave and many don't even have access to unpaid family leave," said Clinton.
    This makes it even harder for women to get a foothold in the economy while juggling motherhood Clinton said. She also addressed issues women in white collar positions face.
    In a nod to the audience and a sponsor of the event, she praised the group 2020 Women on Boards for their effort to increase the number of women on corporate boards in the United States. Less than five percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women according to Clinton.

  • Kellogg Company Honored For Diverse, Inclusive Workforce And Leadership

    Kellogg Company April 23, 2014

    Kellogg Company has again been recognized as a top company for diversity, advancing to No. 31 on DiversityInc's "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" list this year. This is the third consecutive year Kellogg has received this recognition, having recently progressed in rankings from No. 49 in 2012 to No. 32 in 2013. Additionally, the company was ranked on DiversityInc's specialty lists for the first time, receiving such honors as No. 3 on the top companies for diversity councils and No. 6 among top companies for employee resource groups.
    DiversityInc, a global organization that brings education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity, considers four core areas in evaluating companies for its Top 50 list: the CEO's commitment to diversity and inclusion; human capital; corporate and organizational communication on diversity-related issues; and supplier diversity. A more rigorous methodology and increased participation in the analysis has made this process increasingly more competitive each year.
    "To grow our business and fuel our future, Kellogg Company must invest in and build our categories and brands globally, and to do that we need creativity from our talented, diverse workforce," said John Bryant, Kellogg Company President and Chief Executive Officer. "Innovative foods that enrich and delight the world come from a culture that fosters inclusion, respects ideas and values diversity of thought."
    The DiversityInc honor comes as the company also was recently recognized by 2020 Women on Boards, a nonprofit campaign committed to increasing the percentage of women in corporate governance. The organization lists Kellogg among its "Winning Companies" that understand the importance of board diversity and have 20 percent or more women on its board of directors.