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Board of Leaders
A group of women and men who are prominent in their fields, who enthusiastically endorse increasing the number of qualified women on corporate boards, and who support 2020 WOB’s mission.
Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA
"Gender balance in corporate leadership isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do. Extensive data confirms that achieving that balance consistently helps to drive profitability, as well as customer and employee engagement. To be successful, leadership must mirror the faces of the customers it serves. It is the only way to relate, realize promise and fulfill potential. A more diverse top line goes a long way toward achieving a more desirable bottom line."
Brooke Denihan Barrett
CEO, Denihan Hospitality
"Diversity of experience and perspective is essential to good corporate governance. Women are an integral part of the business world - as consumers, employees, shareholders and leaders. It is essential that we work towards leveling the playing field of corporate boards to maximize the innate talents and perspectives of both genders."
Founder and President, Diversity in Boardrooms
"A diverse board is a better board. Diversity is the foundation of America. When corporate boards include diverse perspectives, they are able to make better decisions for the company and its stakeholders. Diversity adds value, and adds to the bottom line."
President, A.C. Advisory, Inc.
"Women are such an important element in society. They can contribute meaningfully in most situations. Hopefully in 2020 we will be more visible and present in the corporate boardrooms as well."
International Business Consultant
"The quantitative analysis is conclusive that women serving on corporate boards make a difference. It is more than good business sense, the numbers prove that women and diversity on boards impact profitability. Inclusion broadens a corporation's competitive edge and global image."
Founder and Chairman, Commonwealth Financial Network
"Many proponents of board diversity tout the different perspective that women bring to many issues. While that may be true, the simple fact is that omitting women from any issue omits half of the thought leadership on the planet."
President, Simmons College
Director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
"I have seen first-hand the success that can occur when women are given the opportunity to lead. Studies show that gender equity and diversity greatly improve work practice, benefitting business and society as a whole. Particularly now, in these economic times, women must have a seat at the table in every level of enterprise."
President and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Group
"By recruiting women board directors with varied talents, backgrounds, and perspectives, companies will better represent the interests of their many stakeholders, increase innovation, and thrive."
Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP
"The labyrinth of challenges facing Boards today necessitates the collaboration, vision and unique perspective women bring. A balanced Board which includes women acknowledges the importance of diversity and the valued voice of half the population."
President, Wheelock College
Director, Century Bancorp, Inc. and the Tufts Health Plan
"All companies operate in a fast changing, complex and diverse environment. The most successful companies embrace diversity at all levels – especially on the Board - as one of the most effective tools to remain competitive and to deliver value to its customers and shareholders."
Board Director, Associated Banc-Corp; Hochschild Mining (LSE); Legg Mason Closed End Mutual Funds
"There is a compelling business case for diversity on boards given the irrefutable evidence that companies with more diverse boards perform at a superior level. It is also absolutely the right thing to do. Thus, by pursuing board diversity, a company can do well by doing good."
Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School
Chair and Director, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative
"More women on the board is a sign of a smart company that engages in a wide search for talent, a certain predictor of high performance."
President & Chief Executive Officer, Hill Holliday
"Modern boards must include directors who are empathetic to and representative of the population that supports the company and modern directors have to understand what people are feeling and thinking today. Since women constitute the majority of consumers and an increasingly large part of the labor pool, it just makes sense that they add value in the boardroom."
Chief Deer, Co-Founder, and Former CEO, Dancing Deer Baking Company, Inc.
Barbara J. Krumsiek
President, CEO, and Chair, Calvert Group, Ltd.
Director and Chair, Acacia Life Insurance Company
Director, Women's Economic Round Table and Women's Campaign Fund
"Calvert views diversity as a strategic business and investment imperative. Companies that are embracing board diversity by drawing on a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds are better positioned for future success."
Former Deputy CEO, Vice Chairman, and Managing Partner of the Center for Corporate Governance, Deloitte LLP
Gloria C. Larson
President, Bentley University
Director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc., Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation, and RSA Security, Inc.
"Women are past ready to fill board seats. In our programs at Bentley that span the career spectrum, we see women with strong business skills and an understanding of the complex contexts in which businesses operate. Companies that utilize the full talent pool from top to bottom are stronger."
Joanna T. Lau
Founder, CEO, and Chair, Lau Technologies
Director, DSW Inc., eBT International Inc., and ITT Educational Services Inc.
"Women do make a difference in the boardroom. They bring a collaborative leadership style that benefits boardroom dynamics by increasing the amount of listening, social support, and win-win problem-solving."
Corporate Board Director, Seaway Bank and Trust Company
President and CEO, Sperry Van Ness International Corporation
"The gender balanced board issue has historically been framed as a women's problem or burden, but it's not. It's a problem that affects all stakeholders. It represents an opportunity which, if properly harnessed, will create better leaders, better products and better results for all involved."
President Emeritus and Professor of Leadership, Lesley University
Cathy E. Minehan
Dean of the School of Management, Simmons College
Director, VISA Inc., the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and MITRE Corporation
"As a member of two corporate boards and a former member of two others, I have seen up close the difference that 2 and preferably 3 women on the board can make as to the assumptions about important issues such as management succession. Women in the US make up the majority of consumers, investors and employees and their voices should be heard on boards. Just as importantly, their hard won expertise in their professions makes them valuable and important contributors to the significant responsibilities of the board."
Sherry H. Penney
Professor of Leadership and Founding Director of Center for Collaborative Leadership, College of Management, U Mass Boston
"Women are still too few in top level executive positions and on boards of directors. We should not rest until we have at least 50/50 representation in both."
Senior Vice President and Regional Trust Head, Brown Brothers Harriman
President and CEO, CPC Global
"Gender and racial diversity on Corporate Boards is not just the right thing to do it’s the smart thing to do. Research shows that companies with women and people of color on their boards outperform their competition. With women ($7.7 trillion) and people of color ($4.4 trillion) accounting for almost $12 trillion in purchasing power, diversity on corporate boards is simply smart economics."
Pamela D. A. Reeve
President, The Commonwealth Institute
Director, American Tower Corporation, Frontier Communications Corporation, and Guardent, Inc.
Chief Investment Officer, Aberdeen Asset Management
"From an economic, a business and a fairness perspective, diversity matters. To be competitive, we need to use all the talent available to us - both female and male."
Former President & CEO, Entrepreneurial Resources Group
Robert F. Rivers
President and Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Bank
Founder and CEO, SkyTop Strategies
"There is indisputable evidence that diversity of all forms generates value beyond the bottom line—a varied group of perspectives produces immeasurable benefits at management and executive levels."
Former President & CEO, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation
Director, Century Bank and Trust, Century Bancorp, and Sperry Van Ness International Corporation
Co-Founder and Chair, 2020 Women on Boards
"It is time to give women a greater voice in corporate America. Smart companies will add women quickly to find the best talent. Women will be joining boards at a rapid pace."
Managing Director, Boston Trust & Investment Management Company
"Women account for half the workforce, more than half of all advanced degrees, and two-thirds of consumer spending. Increasing women's representation on corporate boards is good for business and good for the economy."
Director and Trustee, Healthcare, Life Sciences & Financial Services
Director of Columbia Funds, Healthways, Inc., Abt Associates, Inc., the Children's Hospital Boston, and ICI Mutual Insurance Company
"The level of discussion that happens on a diverse board is truly breathtaking. Tough decisions become easier, the results are better, and the company grows. It is what everyone wants."
Wendy Markus Webb
CEO, Kestrel Advisors
Director: ABM Industries, TiVo Inc.
"Smart and enlightened women on boards, like their best male counterparts, are champions of the interests of shareholders, always mindful too of a company's customers and employees."
Toni G. Wolfman
Vice President, Thirty Percent Coalition
In seeking the combination of experience, skills and judgment they need for their boards of directors, nominating committees, CEOs and search firms willing to look beyond their traditional networks and away from a narrow focus on title find that accomplished women comprise an increasing proportion of the talent pool. And, once tapped to join a board, women directors quickly prove their value.