Press Mentions

  • Slow Increase of Women in DC Region’s Corporate Boards

    Washington Business Journal October 17, 2017

    How do the District, Maryland and Virginia collectively stack up on a national level? Across all Fortune 1000 companies, women hold 19.7 percent of seats in the boardroom — 5 percent more than the D.C. region’s public companies, according to the analysis and another study from the 2020 Women on Boards campaign, which aims to get female board representation to 20 percent by 2020.

  • Why Diversity Matters

    The Guardian September 30, 2017

    A separate study, released by the investor research firm MSCI, found that during the past five years, US companies that had at least three female directors in 2011 have financially outperformed those with none.

    Another, by the governance research firm Equilar for the Wall Street Journal, found that 76 US public companies had had no female directors for the past decade. And a survey of 884 public company directors by PwC US, found that just 24% of men – compared with 89% of women – “very much” believe board diversity leads to improved business performance.

    2020 Women, a group campaigning to increase the percentage of women on US company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020, found that nearly half of the 75 biggest initial public offerings of the last three years featured companies that lacked women on the board when they listed. Healthcare companies are among those with the poorest representation.

  • Why 2018 Will be the Year of the Woman

    Huffington Post September 28, 2017

    I’m also hopeful because there is growing institutional support for women to ascend the career ladder. New organizations such as Leaders in Tech are being formed to make predominately male industries – such as the tech industry in Silicon Valley - more friendly to women. And there are several organizations that are working to get more women on corporate boards including 2020 Women on Boards, a national campaign dedicated to increasing the percentage of women on corporate boards to 20% by 2020. The Rockefeller Foundation is also doing important work through its 100×25 campaign to reach its goal of 100 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies by 2025.

  • Winning Company Directors Recognized on the 2017 Black Enterprise Registry

    Business Wire September 18, 2017

    Regions continues to be recognized for its corporate governance practices, including efforts to strengthen board diversity. Today Regions’ board is 36 percent diverse based on gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. In 2016 Directors Byrd and Maupin were named to Savoy magazine’s “Power 300: 2016 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors.” Additionally, Regions was recognized in 2016 as a 2020 Women on Boards Winning “W” Company, a designation assigned to public and private companies whose boards are comprised of 20 percent or more women.

  • Women Are Making Over The Beauty Industry’s Boy’s Club

    FiveThirtyEight August 1, 2017

    Even as a wave of women-run startups launch and gain footing, traditional companies are facing pressure from investors to change the way they do business. Brands such as Sephora and L’Oreal are starting accelerators for beauty startups, and Coty, the beauty and fragrance company, just added its first woman to its board in April after facing pressure from outside groups.
    “In the beauty industry, it only makes sense that users of the product are on the board,” said Stephanie Sonnabend, co-founder and chair of 2020 Women on Boards, one of the organizations that pushed Coty to diversify. She cited studies that have found that companies with more diverse boards tend to be more successful — certainly in terms of financial returns and perhaps also in making decisions and attracting top talent, which may give them a competitive edge. “Diverse boards make better decisions,” Sonnabend said.

  • State Street Pushed 400 Companies to Put Women on Boards. Most Shrugged

    Wall Street Journal July 26, 2017

    2020 Women on Boards, an organization that’s working to bring better boardroom gender diversity, praised State Street’s action this proxy season.
    The votes set an example for “companies that may talk about diversity but don’t take action,’’ the group’s president, Malli Gero, wrote in an email.
    In a report last week, 2020 Women found that nearly half of the 75 biggest initial public offerings of the last three years featured companies that lacked board women when they first sold shares to the public.
    State Street is among the largest passive fund managers in the world—a sector that is amassing significant governance power as investors pour billions into lower-cost index-tracking funds like ETFs. Since those investments are through passive vehicles, it doesn’t have the ability to simply sell shares in a company. Instead, the firm has to use its voting power to bring about change.

  • Still A Boys' Club

    American Banker July 20, 2017

    Still a boys’ club: Half of the 75 largest IPOs of the last three years were for companies that had all-male boards, according to an advocacy group called 2020 Women on Boards. Three-fourths of the companies went public with one or no women on their boards; within two years of going public, representation remained unchanged for two-thirds of them. The analysis was of U.S. companies with the largest market capitalization on the day their shares began trading between 2014 and 2016. It’s the first research about the gender makeup of newly public U.S. businesses, according to Malli Gero, the president of 2020 Women on Boards, a group that, as its name implies, aims to increase women’s board representation by 2020.

  • Think Going Public Makes Companies Prioritize Diversity? Think Again

    Fourtune July 20, 2017

    Filing for an IPO usually spurs a company to buckle down and get its affairs in order—but not when it comes to the composition of its board.

    A new analysis by advocacy group 2020 Women on Boards found that, of the 75 largest IPOs from 2014 to 2016, three-fourths of companies went public with one or no women on their boards. Nearly half of the companies (49%) went public with no female directors at all.

    Among those that IPOed with one or zero female board members: cloud storage company Box (BOX, +0.10%), action camera seller GoPro (GPRO, -0.37%), and web hosting company GoDaddy (GDDY, -0.41%).

  • Companies Go Public, and the Board Is a Boys’ Club

    The Wall Street Journal July 19, 2017

    Despite aggressive efforts to place women on corporate boards, few newly public companies heed the call.
    Nearly half of the 75 biggest initial public offerings of the last three years involved companies that lacked female directors when they went public, a new analysis found. Most of those 37 concerns still have all-male boards, concluded 2020 Women on Boards, an advocacy group.
    “We didn’t expect it to be that bad,’’ said Malli Gero, the organization’s president. Her group aims to increase women’s board representation by 2020.
    Board members of newly public companies can reap sizable rewards. About 42% of 236 major concerns with IPOs in 2014 and 2015 gave new directors an initial equity grant, worth an average of $347,000, according to a review of 2016 proxy statements by Equilar Inc. That compares with 19% of more established firms, where initial stock awards averaged $185,000.
    2020 Women on Boards examined U.S. companies with the largest market capitalization on the day their shares began trading between 2014 and 2016. This represents the first research about boards’ gender makeup at newly public U.S. businesses, Ms. Gero noted.
    “Three fourths of companies with the largest IPOs went public with one or no women on their boards,’’ its report said. Two-thirds of such businesses had the same scant representation within two years of going public.
    Plenty of women would be interested in board spots if recently public companies bothered to look, Ms. Gero said.
    For instance, former publishing executive Marjorie Scardino took a board seat at Twitter Inc. a week after the social-media company went public in November 2013. Twitter now has three female directors.
    Many of the 21 tracked companies that currently lack female directors operate in male-dominated industries such as energy. Some focus on individual consumers, such as Red Rock Resorts Inc. A spokeswoman for the Las Vegas casino operator, which went public last year, didn’t return calls for comment.
    Others have continued to add male directors. Seres Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical concern, this month announced the appointment of industry executive Willard Dere as its eighth male director. A Seres spokesman declined to comment.

  • Fewer Pittsburgh Company Boards are a Mens-only Club

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette July 17, 2017

    The share of females on the region’s publicly held corporate boards jumped to 20 percent from 17 percent last year — boosted by a wave of new female directors, including some at companies that a year ago had no women sitting at the table.
    Nationwide figures also hover around 20 percent. Consulting firm Deloitte’s Board Diversity Census says women comprised 20.2 percent of seats on Fortune 500 boards in 2016, and the most recent data from nonprofit initiative 2020 Women on Boards says women hold 19.7 percent of Fortune 1000 board seats.
    The gains seen on the boards of Pittsburgh companies is “very positive, obviously,” said Ms. Stewart, director of Industrial Search Partners, which has an office Downtown.
    “We’ve definitely seen progress in Pittsburgh to an accelerated degree,” she said.

  • NorthWestern Honored for Gender Diversity on its Board of Directors

    NorthWestern Energy June 22, 2017

    Butte, Mont. – June 22, 2017 – NorthWestern Energy has been recognized for the gender diversity of its board of directors by a national organization.
    The organization, 2020 Women on Boards, has named NorthWestern to its directory and tabbed the utility as a “W” (short for Winning – the highest category) company in recognition of the fact that women represent more than 20 percent of its board composition. Three of the eight independent (non-employee) NorthWestern directors are female.
    “We have a national caliber board of directors, with a wide range of experience, background and perspective,” said CEO Bob Rowe. “This has consistently produced better deliberation and decision making, which benefits our customers and the company.”  Rowe is the only non-independent (employee) director.
    The three female NorthWestern board members are Julia Johnson, president of NetCommunications; Britt Ide, president of Ide Energy and Strategy; and Linda G. Sullivan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of American Water.
    2020 Women on Boards is a non-profit grassroots campaign committed to increasing the percentage of women who serve on company boards to 20 percent or greater by the year 2020. The campaign believes that diversity of thought is essential to good corporate governance and that corporate boards of directors should reflect company stakeholders: customers, employees and shareholders.
    The complete list of “W” Companies can be found in 2020 Women on Boards’ Gender Diversity Directory, a database that ranks 1,820 of the U.S.’s leading businesses according to the number of women on their boards. The Gender Diversity Index—a subset of the Directory—tracks progress for women on boards among the Fortune 1000 companies. The GDI has tracked the number of women on boards since 2011.

  • Navient Reelects Board at Annual Shareholder Meeting

    Nasdaq GlobalNewswire May 25, 2017

    The directors are Chairman William M. Diefenderfer III, John K. Adams, Jr., Anna Escobedo Cabral, Diane Suitt Gilleland, Katherine A. Lehman, Linda A. Mills, John (Jack) F. Remondi, Jane J. Thompson, Laura S. Unger, Barry L. Williams and David L. Yowan.
    Six of the 11 directors are women, representing 55 percent of the company’s board. Navient is distinguished as among the few S&P 500 companies with a majority women board. These women directors are among a board with diversity of industry backgrounds, ethnicity, age, skills and experiences. The company has attracted nationwide recognition for gender parity on its board from 2020 Women on Boards, the Women's Forum of New York and the New York Stock Exchange Governance Services.