Press Mentions

  • Here are the Only 12 Women Sitting on Boards at Charlotte’s Biggest Companies

    Charlotte Agenda September 19, 2016

    According to 2020 Women on Boards, women hold 18.8% of board seats in Fortune 1000 companies nationwide. That’s up from 14.6% when reporting began in 2011.
    Comparatively, 35.5% of board seats in Norway, 29.9% in Finland and 29.7% in France were held by women in 2014.
    Here at home, North Carolina trails behind the national average with women representing just 16.7% of board members at the state’s Fortune 1000 companies.
    2020 Women on Boards is a national grassroots movement to increase gender diversity in corporate leadership.
    The tangible goal is to have 20% of the board seats at Fortune 1000 companies filled by women by 2020.
    “The conversation needs to take place,” says 2020 Women on Boards Charlotte Chair Jennifer Winstel. “Why aren’t more women represented when we’re half the workforce?”
    It’s a simple question with a complex answer that 2020 Women on Boards works to address at its annual National Conversation on Board Diversity, which will take place in cities across the country on November 17 this year.

  • Study Finds Women Are The Ones Bringing Tech To The Boardroom

    Vocativ September 1, 2016

    Boards in the U.S. featured higher percentages of members with tech experience than the worldwide average but remained consistent with global trends on gender balance — women bring greater tech chops to the table. Canada was the only country where male board members had more professional tech experience than female board members.
    The report indicates that women — who fill only 18 percent of board positions at Fortune 1000 companies according to 2020 Women On Boards — may be held to higher standards of tech experience within the selection process. While women remain underrepresented in the tech industry in general and face significant gender-specific obstacles breaking into careers in STEM, the fact that they’re bringing more tech experience to the boardroom may also be a sign of the narrowing gender gap associated with digital fluency.

  • How Shaherose Charania Made A Dent In The Universe

    Forbes August 24, 2016

    A few days ago, I was with a group of women who were bemoaning the stalled advancement of women. “Not so for women’s entrepreneurship,” I pointed out.
    I credit this to the extraordinary ecosystem that has been been building for women entrepreneurs. Astia, Golden Seeds, Pipeline Angels, Springboard and Women Presidents’ Organization are among those who blazed the trail for high-growth women entrepreneurs. Another, Women 2.0, is changing hands so I thought it a good time to pay tribute to Shaherose Charania, co-founder and CEO.
    While the numbers aren’t changing fast enough, compared to the snail’s pace of the women on Fortune 1,000 corporate boards – from 15% in 2011 to 18% in 2015, according to 2020 Women on Boards – the number of women-owned businesses is increasing rapidly.

  • Building a Career on the Foundations of the Information Revolution

    Wharton School of Business August 4, 2016

    While at Frontier, Wilderotter again broke glass ceilings. When she joined the company she was the only woman among the top 200 senior leaders. Today, she says, 40% of Frontier’s top leaders are diverse.
    She also worked to achieve diversity on the board, in the process replacing 10 of the 12 independent members in her first 18 months as CEO. “It was one of the best decisions that I made,” she said, noting that the new board had “five women, three African-Americans, and five men, all of diverse backgrounds and capabilities, and all passionate about helping me succeed with the company.”
    Wilderotter herself sits on several boards today, including those of DreamWorks Animation, Hewlett-Packard, Costco, Juno Therapeutics, Chobani Yogurt, and Cakebread Cellars Winery. She said she has served on 28 public company boards and several private ones during her career. Wilderotter has also placed several women on boards and receives many requests. Female representation remains a challenge: the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 companies reported that in 2015, only 17.9% of corporate directors were women.

  • Think There's a Shortage of Qualified Women for Boards? You're Wrong

    CNET Magazine July 14, 2016

    One reason Singh Cassidy believes that companies with more diversity on their boards perform better is because they have higher odds of representing more viewpoints.
    Women "offer a perspective...that may be missing entirely," Singh Cassidy said.
    Data collected by TheBoardList also highlights reasons why many women don't make it onto boards. Fifty-nine percent of CEOs surveyed said they got board referrals from investor networks and 39 percent said they used their own networks. The problem with that, Singh Cassidy said, is those networks tend to be homogeneous.
    TheBoardList isn't the only organization seeking the advancement of women on boards. The Women Corporate Directors Foundation is a global community group, and 2020 Women on Boards aims to raise awareness about the issue.
    Getting women onto boards is one piece of the bigger issue of diversity in tech at a time when numbers reflect low percentages of diversity in computer science programs, in technical roles and in leadership positions.
    Finding board members is a "process that requires not just availability of candidates," Singh Cassidy said. "I think there's room for optimization of that entire process."

  • DaVita Adds Female Director, Part of Work to Have “Majority Diverse” Board

    The Denver Post July 13, 2016

    Denver-based DaVita HealthCare Partners grew its board to 11 members and continued on its path to “majority diverse” with the addition of Bain & Company advisory partner Phyllis Yale.
    The board of the Fortune 200 company approved Yale on Wednesday. It now has three women, a Latino man and a black man.
    During a Women’s Foundation of Colorado event in October, DaVita chairman and CEO Kent Thiry said the company had set a goal to make its board of directors majority minority within 24 months.
    “We hope to be a role model for other companies,” Thiry said Wednesday.  “If we can do it, other companies can too.”
    Only 42 percent of Fortune 1000 companies had boards that were 20 percent or more women, according to 2020 Women on Boards.

  • HSN’s Board Move Gives the Company a Very Rare Distinction

    Tampa Bay Business Journal July 8, 2016

    HSN Inc. has named a retail veteran to its board of directors, and in the process has moved into an elite group of businesses nationwide.
    The appointment of Fiona Dias, principal digital partner at Ryan Retail Consulting, increases the size of the HSN (NASDAQ: HSNI) board to 10 members. Five of the board members are women.
    Only 13 other firms in the United States have boards composed of 50 percent or more women, according to 2020 Women on Boards, a national campaign.
    Diversity is good for a company’s bottom line, the organization contends.

  • CHARLOTTE: Leading the Push for More Women on Corporate Boards

    BizWomen June 20, 2016

    CHARLOTTE — Jennifer Winstel is hoping to educate people in North Carolina about the need for more diversity on corporate boards.
    Winstel leads 2020 Women on Boards’ efforts in Charlotte. The national organization aims to increase the percentage of women on corporate boards to 20% or greater by 2020.
    Winstel, a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch, reached out to 2020 Women on Boards founder Malli Gero about a year ago to learn how she could get involved with the organization. The timing was in Winstel’s favor — Gero was looking for a way to enter the Charlotte market.

  • Research: Women-led Firms Have more Female Board Members

    Business Record June 20, 2016

    Women in positions of power have a lot less trouble than men at finding other female executives for key roles, according to an analysis of 1,000 U.S. corporate boardrooms. When women hold key leadership posts like chief executive officer or board chairwoman, companies have women in more than 27 percent of director seats, compared with less than 18 percent when men are in charge, according to a study released by the advocacy group 2020 Women on Boards. The group wants women to hold at least 20 percent of all board seats at U.S. companies by 2020, up from 17.9 percent now. Almost 90 percent of businesses led by women already meet that goal. Read more about the study at

  • Editorial: Women on Boards Make a Difference

    The Daily Astorian June 16, 2016

    Having a better representation of women isn’t a panacea that alleviates every kind of corporate high jinx. Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times researched a piece demonstrating that more women on corporate boards has not reined in excessive CEO pay.
    How do Oregon’s biggest companies stack up? In a useful new report (, the group 2020Women on Boards — which strives for 20 percent female representation on company boards by 2020 — looked at the state’s nine biggest companies and found most already exceed the 20 percent threshold.
    Portland-based financial services company StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., approaches parity, with five of its 11 board members being women. Precision Castparts Corp. is in last place, with only one woman on its 11-member board. NIKE is at 20 percent, with three out 15; Columbia Sportswear is at 27 percent, with 3 of 11 board members being women. California-based Intel, which is the state’s largest employer, is at 18 percent, with 2 out of 11.

  • OPINION: The Food Service Industry’s Disconcerting Glass Ceiling

    The Chronicle Herald June 15, 2016

    Gender equality and diversity on boards and management is the right thing to do and makes strategic sense. Proper governance in food is about understanding markets and contemplating interesting opportunities for the future. Appropriate market representation in the upper decision-making ethos of an organization is key.
    A Boston-based group suggested recently that woman-led company stocks within the Fortune 1000 are likely to outperform others. The way women assess market gaps and manage risks is complementary to men.
    Generational differences will eventually help women. Most men under 50 do not adhere to the mindset of older peers. Gender equality is expected and should be proactively sought. The gender-balanced Trudeau cabinet was no surprise for younger men, who saw it as normal.

  • Another Study Shows Little Progress Getting Women on Boards

    The Wall Street Journal June 14, 2016

    Some companies truly are committed to diversifying their directors, but others just “give it a good lip service,” she added.
    The state of women in corporate management isn’t much better than in the boardroom. Catalyst found that women held 4.2% of CEO jobs last year and represented just more than a quarter of executives and senior managers, barely up from a year earlier.
    Having a female CEO usually means more women directors, too. A recent report from advocacy group 2020 Women on Boards analyzing 2015 Fortune 1000 companies found that 88% of companies with a female CEO have boards with at least 20% women directors. Some 42% of the total pool of firms in that analysis have reached that level of representation.