Press Mentions

  • Women as Directors, Optimism for 2016, Cybersecurity Resources

    Portland Press Herald November 24, 2015

    An impressive array of women gathered Thursday at the University of Southern Maine to learn how to land a seat on a board of directors. The event in Portland was part of a national initiative called Women on Board 20/20 – a reference to achieving board diversity of 20 percent women by 2020.
    Based on an analysis of Fortune 1000 companies, women hold 17.9 percent of board seats. But the rate drops dramatically for smaller companies.
    Looking at the handful of publicly traded companies in Maine, women make up 25 percent of directors, according to data presented at the event organized by entrepreneur Susan Dench. But there’s a lot of room for improvement.
    Speakers Don Gooding of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Sandra Stone, former chairwoman of Maine Angels, Terry Sutton, chief operating officer of Davo Technologies, and Mike Heffernan, CEO of Mobiquity, emphasized how much companies and nonprofits benefit when there’s conflict and diversity on a board – a combination that produces “creative abrasion,” which challenges the status quo and heightens accountability.

  • Experts Provide Strategies for Joining Boards of Directors

    News@Northeastern November 23, 2015

    11/19/15 - BOSTON, MA. -  Scenes during the Women Who Inspire Speaker Series event: Recruiting Beyond the C-Suite: How do Winning Companies Recruit to Maximize Board Effectiveness? held in the Raytheon Amphitheater at Northeastern University on Nov. 19, 2015. Panelists included: Michelle Stacy, Board Director, iRobotCorp, Tervis Tumbler, Young Innovations, Inc., Corvine, Michael Jeans, Board Director, AMICA Insurance, Ellen Richstone, Board Director BioAmber & eMagin, and moderator Priscilla H. Douglas, Ed'70, MEd'74, Executive Coach & Author P.H. Douglas Associates.
    Wisdom, warmth, and humor flowed on Thursday morning when three dis­tin­guished pan­elists sat down in the Egan Research Center to dis­cuss strate­gies for women who want to join boards of direc­tors of public, pri­vate, and non­profit com­pa­nies. Mod­er­ated by top exec­u­tive coach Priscilla H. Dou­glas, CPS’70, MEd’74, the ses­sion helped audi­ence mem­bers explore not just what com­pa­nies look for in board direc­tors but how they can pre­pare for roles in these posi­tions and assess what open­ings might be right for them.
    “Joining a board is a two-​​way rela­tion­ship,” said Michael Jeans, board director of AMICA Insur­ance and former pres­i­dent and chairman emer­itus of New Direc­tions Inc. “It’s about giving as well as receiving. It’s not ‘Here’s what I want’; it’s ‘Here’s what I can bring to the board.’”
    The event, part of the Women who Inspire Speaker Series, was titled “Recruiting Beyond the C-​​Suite: How Do Win­ning Com­pa­nies Recruit to Max­i­mize Board Effec­tive­ness?” It was co-​​hosted by the Boston Club, an orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to diver­si­fying lead­er­ship at For­tune 500 com­pa­nies, and 2020 Women on Boards, a national non­profit cre­ated to raise the per­centage of women on cor­po­rate boards to 20 per­cent by the year 2020.

  • In Nebraska and the Nation, the Push is On to add More Women to the Boardroom November 23, 2015

    In the last decade, efforts to diversify corporate boards have sprung up: State declarations have been passed. How-to seminars for women who aspire to the boardroom have launched.

    A nationwide group wants to put women in at least 20 percent of boardroom seats at larger companies by 2020.

    Like many of the nation’s companies, Nebraska’s firms lag behind the 20 percent goal. Still, of 11 Nebraska companies on the Fortune 1000 list of the country’s biggest companies, at least four corporate boards already include 20 percent women or more: Berkshire Hathaway, Mutual of Omaha, Cabela’s and West Corp. ConAgra Foods is close with 17 percent. (Kiewit Corp., which is privately owned, doesn’t disclose its leadership structure, a company spokesman said.)

  • Charlotte Women Rally to Increase their Ranks on Corporate Boards in North Carolina

    Charlotte Business Journal November 20, 2015

    Jennifer Winstel has been talking about boardroom diversity for years.

    Winstel, a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, thinks there is much work to be done in Charlotte and throughout the state of North Carolina to bring more women to the table. That's why she set out to host an event in uptown Thursday to talk about the need for diversity on corporate boards.
    Last year, Winstel led a boardroom training symposium in Charlotte. Bank of America’s Cathy Bessant took the stage to talk about her own experience on the board of the insurance company, Florida Blue. I attended the event and caught up with Bessant afterwards to talk about navigating the boardroom.
    After that event, Winstel was ready to take the next step to make a difference in North Carolina.

    She started on Google, searching different organizations working in this space and found 2020 Women on Boards. The organization's mission resonated: To increase the percentage of women on corporate boards to 20% or greater by 2020. She reached out to the co-founder of the organization, Malli Gero, who is based in Boston, and asked if the group had a Charlotte presence.

  • 2020 Women on Boards Aims to get More Women Representation

    Next Pittsburgh November 19, 2015

    Despite the amount of research showing that companies with diverse boards perform better than those without, the percentage of women on corporate boards remains low.
    According to the 2020 Women on Boards initiative, last year, the percentage of women on U.S. company boards of Fortune 1000 companies was just 17.7 percent. While that’s up from 2013’s figure of 16.6 percent, it’s not good enough yet,  2020 contends, which is why it has set its sights on getting 20 percent female representation on company boards by the year 2020.
    Carrie Coghill.  CEO of Coghill Investment Strategies, says she doesn’t get frustrated by the conversation about female underrepresentation on corporate boards, even though it’s one that’s been ongoing for a while now.
    “We’re trying to culturally change something; it’s like turning a huge ship,” Coghill says. “It’s going to take time.”
    For the first time in its five-year history, the 2020 Women on Boards‘ National Conversation on Board Diversity will include a Pittsburgh event. Thousands of high-level executives will convene in 19 cities to consider this year’s strategic question: “Recruiting Beyond the C-Suite: Why and How Do Winning Companies Recruit to Maximize Board Effectiveness?”

  • 2020 Women on Boards Los Angeles Applauds Increase in Numbers of Women on Corporate Boards in California

    Business Wire November 19, 2015

    LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minor increases in numbers of women on corporate boards in California were applauded today at the fifth annual "2020 Women on Boards" event in Los Angeles, with audience of 360 business executives at the LA Hotel downtown. Largest of 19 separate events held today throughout the U.S., the Los Angeles 2020WOB supports the national initiative to build awareness toward achieving at least 20% of board seats held by women by the year 2020.
    “We are confident our volunteer efforts will add to the chorus for more women on boards.”
    Co-chaired by Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, president of Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search, and Renee Fraser, Ph.D, CEO of Fraser Communications, the Los Angeles 2020WOB panel included Peter J. Taylor of Los Angeles, Edison International board; Marilyn A. Alexander of Newport Beach, Tutor-Perini, Torchmark and DCT Industrial boards; and Amanda Kimball of Sacramento, head of research, University of California Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM).
    Among the 400 largest companies in California, the percentage of women directors has risen slowly to today's high of 13.3 percent in 2015 from the low 8.8 percent in 2006. Women hold 432 of 3,260 total board seats among California's largest 400 companies. San Francisco County has the highest percentage of women directors (20.2 %), and Orange County has the lowest (10.5 %), followed closely by Los Angeles County (11.6 %) and Santa Clara County (12.7 %). Statewide, the Bay Area (14.5%) is ahead of Southern California (11.7 %).

  • Young Presidents' Organization Supports 2020 Women on Boards' One-Day National Conversation

    Benzinga November 19, 2015

    Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 19, 2015
    The 2020 Women on Boards campaign, affiliated with key organizations that support board thought leadership, including Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and its Women's YPO Network (WYN), is leading a national discussion on board diversity across 17 major U.S. cities. The nonprofit advocacy group was launched in Boston five years ago with the goal of reaching 20% of women on boards by 2020 and has created the Gender Diversity Index to track the progress companies are making in bringing more women into the boardroom.
    As the former president and CEO of a publicly traded international hospitality company, co-founder and YPO and WYN member, Stephanie Sonnabend, sits on two corporate boards. "The original idea was to launch a grassroots campaign that would raise awareness of the issue among people who may have never thought about it, including young people and middle managers," says Sonnabend. "Today's collaborative flagship events across the country help create awareness of this issue, while sharing best practice insights and identifying companies that are falling behind."

  • Pittsburgh Hosting National Gender Diversity Event this Week

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette November 18, 2015

    Carrie Coghill has been an investment adviser for decades. It wasn’t until global markets crashed in 2008, however, that she noticed how few women held top decision-making roles in financial services.
    “With everything that went wrong, there wasn’t a lot of diversity in the players,” said Ms. Coghill, chief executive of Coghill Investment Strategies, Downtown.
    As she researched the issue more deeply, Ms. Coghill also made the connection that a dearth of female executives resulted in low numbers of women on corporate boards. Because they weren’t in highly visible jobs, she said, women weren’t getting tapped to become directors.
    That’s what inspired her to coordinate an event in Pittsburgh designed to raise awareness about the lack of gender diversity on boards and provide insight into how some companies achieve less segregated board rooms.
    The local gathering Thursday at the Fairmont Hotel, Downtown, will be one of 19 held nationwide as part of a National Conversation on Board Diversity hosted by 2020 Women on Boards, a Boston-based initiative whose mission is to increase the percentage of females on U.S. public company boards to 20 percent or more by the year 2020.

  • Event at Oklahoma City University will Focus on Board Diversity

    NewsOK November 18, 2015

    The inaugural National Conversation on Board Diversity will be from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.
    2020 Women on Boards, sponsor of the event, is dedicated to boosting the percentage of women directors to 20 percent by 2020.
    Women now hold 18.8 percent of board seats on Fortune 1000 companies, up from 17.7 percent in 2014 and 14.6 percent in 2011.
    Several women who serve as executives with local companies will appear on panels during the event.
    “There is a lot of celebrate at the halfway mark of our 10-year grassroots campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of gender diversity, but we have yet to create a corporate imperative for diversified boards,” said Stephanie Sonnabend, co-founder and chair of 2020 Women on Boards.

  • Women Are Nowhere Near Reaching Equality In Corporate Boardrooms, Study Finds

    The Huffington Post November 18, 2015

    A new report examining gender diversity in the highest echelons of business shows women are far from reaching parity in corporate boardrooms in California, one of the nation's most progressive states.
    The study, released this week by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, finds that women hold just 12.3 percent of the highest-paid executive roles and board seats at the 400 largest public companies headquartered in the state, up less than one percent from last year.
    California is home to some of the nation's most prominent companies, including Google, Apple, Chevron, Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo, Oracle and Visa. It's also one of the best states for working women. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) recently signed the nation's toughest equal pay protections into law, requiring employers to pay women and men equally for "substantially similar" work. California has also had paid family leave policies on the books since 2002.
    Of the 400 companies analyzed by UC Davis, 92 have no women at all in director or executive roles. The report found that a third of companies with no women in top roles are headquartered in Santa Clara County, home to some of Silicon Valley's largest companies

  • Mind Your Own Business: Many State Companies have Zero Female Board Members

    NewsOK November 16, 2015

    Just in time for a breakfast forum on Thursday in Oklahoma City on the topic, a Boston-based non-profit last week released a report showing gains by women on the boards of Fortune 1000 companies.
    Women now hold slightly fewer than 19 percent of board seats, according to the 2015 Gender Diversity Index (GDI) released Thursday by 2020 Women on Boards, which aims to increase the percentage of women on boards to 20 percent by the year 2020.
    Of 17 Oklahoma companies listed on 2020's gender diversity directory, four already have hit or surpassed the 20 percent goal, while six have zero women on their boards.
    Females represent 31 percent of the board of Williams Companies Inc. and 22 percent of Devon Energy Corporation, while women comprise 20 percent of the respective boards of OGE Energy Corporation and Oneok Inc.
    Conversely, the four- to 10-member boards of Alliance Holdings, Continental Resources, Enable Midstream Partners, NGL Energy Partners, SandRidge Energy Inc. and Unit Corporation are 100 percent male.

  • Panel to Explore Women's Roles in Firms Selected as Forbes' Best Employers

    Sun Sentinel November 16, 2015

    Executives from Kaplan, Publix, Ryder, and Lakeland Regional Medical Center will share how their women executives helped convince Forbes to select their companies as "America's Best Employers" in a panel discussion Thursday in Davie.
    The panel includes: Amy Barry, chief human resources officer, Lakeland Regional Medical Center; Janice Block, chief legal officer, and Beverly Clampett, vice president of talent excellence, Kaplan in Fort Lauderdale; Jaffus Hardrick, vice president of human resources, Florida International University in Miami; John Hrabusa, senior vice president of human resources, Publix Super Markets in Lakeland; and Frank Lopez, senior vice president of human resources, Ryder System in Miami.
    Lakeland Regional, Kaplan, Publix and Ryder are all on the 2015 Forbes list of best employers.
    The panel is part of a national discussion Thursday on corporate board diversity by members of 2020 Women on Boards, a national campaign aimed at increasing the level of women on boards to 20 percent or higher by 2020. The Davie event is sponsored by Women in Executive Leadership, a South Florida advocate for diversity on boards.