Board Ready : Women & Corporate BoardsThe Women's Book April 30, 2013
The Boston Club, a premier organization of women executives and professionals promoting the advancement of women to significant and visible leadership roles, collaborates with Bentley University and Mercer on an annual census focused on Women Directors and Executive Officers of Massachusetts Public Companies.
2012 statistics show 12.7% of all directors of the 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts are women - a 1.6% increase from 2011. The number of women represented in the boardroom and executive suites has improved over the years; however, not significantly. Much more progress has to be made. It is not just the right thing to do – there is a clear business case to diversifying a board, and there are many very qualified women out there that could be serving.
Organizations such as 2020 Women on Boards, InterOrganizationNetwork (ION), The Thirty Percent Coalition, and The Boston Club are all working on addressing the issue through advocacy, outreach, and education. 2020 Women on Boards has taken a grass roots approach and ION, The Thirty Percent Coalition, and The Boston Club are tackling the issue at the highest levels.
Top 10 Women in Cloud to WatchCloudTimes April 10, 2013
Sheryl Sanberg’s lean-in organization has been grabbing headlines and creating a renewed media frenzy in the long held debate of how best to promote women in tech. Conversations around the value of women on boards, and national initiatives like 2020 Women on Boards are taking center stage. One women in tech non-profit, CloudNOW, is actively contributing to the solution by approaching the problem with a fresh perspective: women in tech should work in partnership with the tech industry, and their male colleagues to promote equality and not separatism, and bring attention to women who are contributing– beyond the dog and pony show of trotting out Marissa Meyer, and a couple of other obvious choices.
#2020WOB Twitter ChatThe Women's Book March 19, 2013
Join the conversation 2020 Women on Boards is having with Christine DeGroot, Associate Sustainability Analyst at Calvert Investment Management, for the “A Women’s Place is in the Boardroom Series” scheduled for Wednesday, March 20 at 12:00 p.m. EST via Twitter chat at #2020WOB.
DeGroot leads Calvert’s research, advocacy, and policy work to promote greater inclusion of minorities and women in the workplace, and to increase board room diversity. She also works with Calvert’s partners to advance the implementation of the Calvert’s Women Principles®.
The Twitter chat event is the first in a series of Twitter chats that will take place on the 20th of every month, regardless of whether or not the 20th falls on a weekday or weekend. These Twitter chats coincide with the 2020 Challenge and will be 15 minute exchanges with thought leader co-hosts who will lead the exchange on various issues.
Can Boston Really Become the Premier City for Working Women?Boston Magazine March 15, 2013
It appears Mayor Menino has been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, the Facebook exec’s bestselling new book urging women to let their natural ambitions—not their late-night worries about managing their kids, home, and career (you know, that whole “having it all” ball of wax)—guide them through the proverbial glass ceiling. Yesterday the mayor’s office announced its aim to make Boston “the premier city for working women.” Through a series of initiatives, he hopes to transform the way business is done in this town.
The plan has two parts: The first will establish the “Women on Main” initiative to connect women business owners throughout Boston’s Main Streets districts. According to the Census Bureau, fewer than 30 percent of businesses in Boston are owned by women, similar to the national average, but not exactly up to snuff for a city like Boston, with its highly educated workforce and teeming industries.
In her comprehensive article on the pay gap, Boston magazine’s Janelle Nanos spelled out a big part of the problem: “Only 12.7 percent of local-business board members are women. That’s significantly worse than the still-not-good 15.6 percent at Fortune 1000 companies.” And, behind those numbers is something insidious: a boy’s club culture that doesn’t really want to change. As Malli Gero, co-founder of 2020 Women on Boards told Nanos: “Boston business is very slow to adopt newer ways of thinking. It’s not a corporate priority. We’re seeing it in the board diversity and we’re seeing it in terms of the wage gap.”
International Women’s Day Underlines Structural Barriers Preventing Women From Unleashing their PotentialDaily Markets March 11, 2013
ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, says new, contemporary approaches to work are required in order to break down barriers facing women in the workforce — a crucial step to grow talent pipelines and to spur successful economies.
Women remain the greatest underleveraged source of talent in the world despite ManpowerGroup’s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey finding that one third of employers are struggling with skills shortages. According to the International Labor Organization, nearly half of working age women are not currently active in the formal global economy, and among Fortune 500 companies, only 15.7% of board seats are held by women.
“What companies are offering women is clearly not what women want. There needs to be a shift toward work models that better provide women the flexibility they are looking for so that the percentage of women in the workforce does not drop off at every sorting of talent,” said Mara Swan, ManpowerGroup Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent. “We also need to focus on strategic ways to reintegrate women who temporarily leave the workforce to raise families.”
Calvert Report: Few Women And Minorities Making It To S&P 100 Board Rooms, Executive SuitesMarketWatch March 7, 2013
Standard and Poor's (S&P) 100 companies have made some progress on corporate diversity since 2010, 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.
Key findings in the Calvert report include:
- Even though women are often now hired as frequently as men at S&P 100 companies, their representation in management roles decreases with each step up the corporate ladder. Well over half (56 percent) of S&P 100 companies have no women or minorities in their highest-paid senior executive positions.
- While women make up 19 percent of S&P 100 board of director positions, they represent only 8 percent of the highest-paid executives.
- While 98 companies have women directors, and 86 companies have minority directors, only 37 companies in the S&P 100 have minority women on their board.
- In the last two years, S&P 100 companies have made some movement towards increasing board diversity. Since 2010, the overall percentage of women serving on S&P 100 boards has risen from 18 percent to 19 percent. In addition, 30 companies have added at least one woman director, and 25 companies have added at least one minority director.
Albemarle recognized as a 2020 Women on Boards "W" Company for the year 2012PRNewswire February 20, 2013
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) announced today that it has received the W Company award from the 2020 Women on Boards organization. This award is given to companies that recognize the importance of board diversity and have at least 20% women on their board of directors.
"We are pleased to be recognized for our corporate commitment to diversity. That commitment is also evidenced by the number of women in management and senior executive roles at Albemarle," said Susan Kelliher, Albemarle senior vice president, human resources. "Diversity is something that benefits our entire organization, from top to bottom. It is truly an honor for Albemarle to be recognized by 2020 Women on Boards as a 'W' company for the year."
2020 Women on Boards is a non-profit grassroots campaign committed to increasing the percentage of women who serve on public company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020. In a letter to Albemarle, executive director Malli Gero and chair Stephanie Sonnabend wrote, "We appreciate your commitment to good corporate governance practices."
Women in Boardrooms: Networking and Qualifications are KeyBoston.com February 18, 2013
Serving on a board of directors can be a rewarding experience. But to attain one of these coveted spots you have to be qualified and well connected. The board search process is a major undertaking that can take years. For a woman, it is even more difficult to secure a board seat, so it is important to develop a plan of action to become board ready. Below is some insight into the process.
Step 1: Network
According to Malli Gero, Executive Director of 2020 Women on Boards, it will probably take years before you have the right background and expertise to serve on a corporate board, and you need to continuously work your network while preparing to serve. “You need to be in front of people who can make crucial introductions for you. If you are not an extremely visible person, it is harder to get on a board. Often before a candidate is considered, companies will receive a list of candidates and ask whom on the board knows the person,” said Toni Wolfman, Executive Advisor at the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University.
How We'll Finally Get More Women On Corporate BoardsPolicyMic February 8, 2013
Glass ceilings are being broken around the world, but nowhere is the glass more durable than the corporate boardroom in the United States, where fewer than 20% of the board members are women (16% for Fortune 500 companies). We hear about the progress in European countries, where "pink quotas" mandate percentages of women serving as corporate directors. But in the U.S., we hear little about women being named as directors, or about the intent of corporate America to be more inclusive or acknowledge the value of engaging more women.
In America, business is still a man's game at the top, but women are using their climbing shoes. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has some thoughts in her new book about how women need to approach business success, rely on their strengths, and promote themselves. And we soon may be hearing more about inclusiveness in the boardroom from Harvard MBA students who will study and then make recommendations for tackling the issue.
Mind the GapBoston Magazine February 1, 2013
Why does Massachusetts—perhaps the most progressive state of them all—have one of the country's biggest wage disparities between men and women?
It’s easy to believe that women are doing just as well as men around here. After all, we’re surrounded by smart, talented, ambitious women working in law firms, hospitals, government, and academic institutions. Harvard’s president (Drew Gilpin Faust) is a woman, as is MIT’s former president (Susan Hockfield). We just elected Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate, and Therese Murray is the president of the state Senate. This is Massachusetts, where women can do anything!
So yes, we’re used to seeing powerful women, but we don’t often get the chance to see how their paychecks compare with those of men. This blindness is a major part of the problem, says Susan Duffy, who heads the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College. We suffer from the “it doesn’t happen here” syndrome. “But when you actually look at the hard numbers,” Duffy says, “it’s tough to dispute that we have a real problem.”
Women in the C-Suite: Finding Ways to Break the ‘Seal’Business Ethics December 17, 2012
The business case for increasing the number of women in senior management and on corporate boards is continually being bolstered by data analysis and stories of changes impacting companies. The case has been made. The question is what will accelerate a tipping point?
The answer, I believe, is rooted in an organization’s and current leaders’ ability to break what organizational change expert Margaret (Meg) Wheatley refers to as the “self-seal.”Research findings point to the benefits of increased gender diversity in improving corporate financial returns (while decreasing short-term profit emphasis), increasing sustainable business practices, and strengthening engagement and culture (while reducing vulnerability to ethical lapses). All outcomes that help businesses flourish. And yet, this evidence hasn’t driven significant increases in the percentage of women at the highest levels. Percentages for women in the C-suite and on boards continue to be about 14 percent and below 17 percent respectively, according to Catalyst .
The call to broaden the lens through which talent is identified and developed comes from many sectors. Long-time champion Catalyst, professional service firms like McKinsey, academic centers (including the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California Berkeley), and a growing number of advocacy organizations (like 2020 Women on Boards and Women Corporate Directors (WCD)), offer data, resources, forums and action plans to focus attention and intention on increasing the number of women CEOs and board members.
Corporate Board Diversity Subject of Women’s Leadership EventThe Miami Herald December 14, 2012
About 25 women attended a Women Executive Leadership luncheon meeting on Wednesday in Miami, as part of the 2020 Women on Boards nationwide campaign to increase the representation of women on corporate boards to 20 percent or greater by 2020.
According to Women Executive Leadership, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of women into corporate leadership positions, 44 percent of the 100 largest public companies in Florida had no female representation on their boards in 2011, 39 had one female director, 13 had two female directors and three had three female directors. Tupperware Brands in Orlando was the only Florida company with four female directors.
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