leadership

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.

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Gender Diversity Index

On September 27th we released the results of the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index. We took the 2010 Fortune 1000 list and quantified companies into four categories: “W” winners are at 20% or greater women on boards; “V” companies are Very Close 11 – 19% women; “T” companies have their Token (1) woman; and “Z” companies have Zero women.

Analysis of the findings produced some interesting results. While 29% of the companies are “W” companies, the largest group is the “T” companies, with 33% having only one women. Do these companies believe they have handled diversity by appointing one woman? When you add the “T” companies and “Z” companies together over half of all companies on the list have one or zero women on their boards!

The results of our research indicate that the percentage of women on boards for the Fortune 1000 is 14.6%. This is the number we will be tracking and measuring our progress against each year.

Another significant result is that the findings reveal that the smaller the company, the fewer women in the boardroom. The Fortune 100 are at 19.4%, this number drops to 16.4% for the Fortune 500 and to 12.4% for the Fortune 501 – 1000. This debunks the theory that there are not enough qualified women, because if that were the case, why have the larger companies found them and the smaller companies cannot.

As we present the findings in various cities throughout the country, we will be breaking  the data down by state or region. When we presented the Massachusetts numbers, we demonstrated that Massachusetts is above average at 16.4%, but only 9 of the 24 companies are “W” companies at 20% or greater.

On October 4th the numbers and percentages for New York are revealed.

Congrats to 304 Winning "W" Companies

Last week we mailed out 304 congratulatory certificates to CEOs of winning "W" companies - public and private companies whose boards are comprised of 20% or more women. We want these senior executives to know that the public applauds their board diversity policies and pays attention to the issue.  We also emailed the PR and IR executives at the companies to apprise them of the honor. The names of the companies can be found on 2020wob.com in our "W" company database.

The 2020 database is the cornerstone of our campaign. The database includes companies on the Fortune 500; ION's 2011 report of companies in 14 U.S. regions; and private and other companies that self-report. In September we will have concluded our research on the 2010 Fortune 1000, which will be our benchmark for the duration of 2020 Women on Boards campaign. Look for the launch of the 2020 Index this fall.

Why are we doing this?  Peter Drucker said, "What gets measured gets changed." When it comes to board diversity, he was only half right. Lots of organizations have measured the number of women who serve on the boards of public companies, but the number has been stuck at 11% for years, according to ION. The 2020 Women on Boards campaign takes the initiative a step further. Through our grassroots efforts we are contacting these companies and letting them know that people care about board diversity. This outreach is especially important as we begin to track the zero "Z" companies that may change their policies because of public pressure. We'll be publishing that list in January 2012.

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