board diversity

Agreed: Diversity of Thought Does Not Mean Argumentative

“My father was not looking for diversity of thought.  He was looking for agreement,”  writes Stephanie Sonnabend.  Thus explaining her challenge in securing women for the board of Sonesta International Corporation, the publicly traded, family controlled global hotel chain of which her father was Chairman of the Board.  
However, with her persistent urging, first one woman was added, then Stephanie became the second and eventually a third.  Upon his passing, Stephanie helped create an even more diverse board including four women and two minorities of ten directors.  Did this lead to contentious board meetings with diversity of thought contributing to gridlock and lack of action?  Of course not.  Rather, the new participants helped enhance strategic conversations with a wide-angle view. Board members who had been relatively silent became active participants in more dynamic and valuable conversations.
With her three perspectives as insider at Sonesta, as an independent director at Century Bank & Trust and co-founder of 2020 Women on Boards, Stephanie exemplifies the impact of being able to look at a business question from different points of view. 
So when you hear the pushback that a more a diverse board means the Chair will have to spend valuable time justifying decisions rather than executing on them, offer a different perspective.  A board comprised of diversity of people can offer new perspectives on forward-thinking strategy and business operations.
Read the full article here:  Gender Diversity in the Corporate Boardroom: Creating a Tipping Point for Change

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Apple Inc. recently announced that they would be amending their nominating and corporate governance committee charter to include language conveying the need for gender and racial diversity. The charter will state that Apple is “committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are chosen.” But Apple isn’t acting from its own volition. At the annual shareholders meeting, two investor groups, Trillium Asset Management and the Sustainability Group, proposed a diversity vote that would force Apple to take the necessary steps to ensure gender equality among its board members. Rather than leave it to the vote, Apple came out with its charter amendment.
And now Apple will likely find one or more worthy, meticulously qualified women and/or minorities. However, two questions remain: why wasn’t gender and minority diversity already an issue for Apple? And why did it take so long to become one? How quickly will Apple act, since they currently only have one woman on their board?
We hope other companies follow Apple’s lead without being forced, and proclaim a commitment to a diverse board. We all know, however, that while charter language is good, actions speak louder than words.

@Twitter. Put a woman on your board. Do it now.

Don't they learn? What's with these venture-backed technology companies? Twitter just filed for an IPO with an all-male board of directors.  Even in the male dominated technology sector, companies are adding women to their boards.
In "Mining the Metrics" a study by Thompson Reuters (2013) of 4100 global companies, technology, industrials and non-cyclical consumer companies led in the gender diversity of their boards. In our own research of Fortune 1000 companies every sector, including technology, has added women to the boardroom.
So what's with Twitter and their underwriters, Goldman, Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities? Don't they read the reports that show that companies with women on their boards outperform companies without women?
Twitter, you may think you're worth a billion dollars, but you're a Zero "Z" Company to us.
Tell Twitter to put a woman on its board: @Twitter. Put a woman on your board. Do it now. #CorpGov @2020WOB

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