Women on Boards

Facebook puts a woman on its board!

It was on the blogosphere like wild fire. Facebook announced the addition of a woman to its board, Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg is the company's COO, Mark Zuckerberg's most trusted business partner, and one of the 12 most powerful women in business, according to Fortune Magazine.
Sandberg's appointment is good news. It shows the company was attentive to stakeholders' concerns about the lack of diversity on its board. It may also indicate a new willingness for the company to consider other areas of concern for users, advertisers - and now - shareholders.
Sandberg's a catch, but her appointment was hardly a bold move. She should have been appointed to the board long before the IPO, as an example of Facebook's commitment to sound governance. She's an insider with a strong allegiance to Zuckerberg. A bolder move would have been to appoint an independent woman who brings similar talents to the board, but also a fresh perspective.
Still, with this announcement, the list of 2020 Z companies just got a little shorter. We hope that Sandberg will use her influence and clout to bring on another woman director soon, and that the board will get to 20% or more soon.
For those of us who worked on moving the needle at Facebook, it was a gratifying moment. We can be proud of our efforts. But with only 14.6% board seats held by women in the F1000, we still have a lot of work to do.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

How can it be? Facebook will file for an IPO this week without a single woman on its board of directors. Are you kidding? Without women, where would Facebook be?

In June The PEW Internet and American Life Project revealed that 58 percent of all Facebook users are women. Women do most of the status updating, make most of the comments, upload most of the photos and hit the Like button most frequently.

I read in the paper recently that your revenue strategy relies heavily on advertising.  Haven't you heard? Women influence 80% of consumer spending.

Maybe your board thinks that because women are so busy socializing on Facebook they're too busy to achieve the necessary credentials for board service. You should know that women comprise over half the workforce and make up about half of all management positions. A third of all businesses are owned by women, employing more than 13 million people and generating $1.9 trillion in sales.

Here's an idea: Put Sheryl Sandberg on your board. Starbucks did. And so did Disney. She'll be an insider, but that's better than having no women directors.

You may be aware that we recently published the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Directory, a list of over 1,000 companies categorized by the gender diversity of their boards. It's outrageous that Facebook will launch as a Zero “Z” company.

Mark, we encourage you to do better. Take the 2020 Challenge. Add a woman within two years and get to 20% by 2020.  Your Facebook users want and deserve a seat at the table.






Introducing the 2020 Gender Diversity Directory

Fulfilling our campaign promise to provide greater transparency to the composition of public company boards of directors, on our website you will find much-awaited Gender Diversity Directory.

The directory includes over 1,000 companies and categorizes them using the 2020 Campaign’s designations: Winning "W" (20% women or greater), Very Close "V" (11 - 19%), Token "T" (one woman), or Zero "Z"(no women). The database can be sorted in a variety of ways - alphabetically, by designation, geography, market sector, or number of women directors.

The 2020 directory includes companies on the 2020 Gender Diversity Index (based on the 2010 Fortune 1000) and other private and public companies, disclosed by campaign supporters and its Affiliate organizations. The directory will be reviewed once a year and updated when we become aware of changes.

This summer, we notified companies that they would be included in the directory: W companies received congratulatory certificates, Z companies were encouraged to take the 2020 Pledge: Put a woman on the board within 2 years and achieve 20% by 2020.

A number of W companies thanked us for the recognition, and some used our web badge on their websites. We are now looking for companies to take the Pledge.

Over 1,000 directors on Fortune 1000 company boards are over 70 and facing retirement. Companies will soon be looking to replace this generation of directors with people who are younger and better reflect the 21 Century marketplace., with more emphasis on who you are less on who you know. Qualified women have the skills required for today’s boards of directors.

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