Past Corporate Circle Meetings
January 28, 2013
Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection -- Debora Spar, President of Barnard College and Board Member of Goldman, Sachs & Co., examined three areas of women’s lives—the workplace, domestic relations, and beauty—and explored both the challenges and successes in these areas as a result of the feminist revolution. While offering the caveat that her upcoming book, Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, was based on the lived experiences of the professional class of women in the United States, Spar used data, theory, popular culture, and personal anecdotes to show how the feminist and sexual revolutions of the 1960s created both opportunity and, ironically, new burdens for women and girls. The pursuit of perfection and obsession with control has created new traps for women, raising the expectations placed upon them.
December 7, 2012
Closing the Gender Gap -- Iris Bohnet, the Dean and Director of the Women and Public
Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School, gave a presentation entitled, “Closing the Gender Gap”, which focused on methods to get women into the upper echelons of management. In a study done by Catalyst in 2012, it was found that though women are 46.6% of the U.S. labor force and 51.4% hold managerial positions, only 3.4% of the Forbes 500 CEOs are women. Iris explored “patterned thinking” and demonstrated how judgments are made based on implicit biases. The central solution that Iris envisions to close the gender gap is through, what she terms “nudges.” Gender equality nudges build upon how our minds recognize patterns, and then work to change our default assumptions, which ultimately changes our perceptions.
January 11, 2012
Drilling in the Gulf: Risk, Safety, and the Culture of Masculinity - Professor Robin Ely of Harvard Business School shared her findings from research conducted on two deep-water oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. These rigs had undergone a profound cultural shift: from a stereotypically macho and risk-taking environment to a culture of safety consciousness and collaboration. Robin and her colleagues identified three key conditions which account for this cultural shift: Collectivistic goals; a definition of competence based on the bona fide demands of the job; and a learning orientation versus a performance orientation. Robin’s presentation was followed by a rich discussion of how these findings might be applied in other risk pervasive work environments, including the corporate sphere, and what it might take for companies to create conditions to enable such a successful cultural shift.
September 23, 2011
The Gender Equality Project – Nicole Schwab presented her research on making the workplace more equitable. She provided a progress report on companies that had signed on to the Gender Equality Project and those who participated in the pilot phase, responses to pre-launch feedback (pre-Davos Corporate Circle briefing), and a preview of equality initiatives at the Davos Forum.
May 12, 2011
Realizing the Potential for Women’s Leadership - On May 12, 2011, the National Council for Research on Women hosted a webinar with Dr. Nan Keohane on Realizing the Potential for Women’s Leadership. Keohane, author and former President of Wellesley University and Duke University, presented findings from a recently released study from the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Women’s Leadership on how female and male undergraduates at Princeton approach their college years, the differences in how they define leadership, and in their overall experience. Many of the patterns observed in the report are common to other co-ed campuses and have implications for how women advance in careers after graduation. Following Keohane’s presentation, Melinda Wolfe, Head of Professional Development at Bloomberg and the chair of the Council’s Corporate Circle Advisory Board, offered a response from the corporate perspective: the parallels between the Princeton study and what she has seen in the corporate sector are very telling. In both sectors, women leaders face subtle biases and traditional frameworks for leadership that undermine their advancement. The good news is that the solutions are also similar: mentorship and sponsorship are key as is early intervention. The webinar concluded with a rich Q&A with participants.
April 15, 2011
Corporate Circle Advisory Board Meeting, The Evolution of Perspective: Gender, Women and Work, Past, Present, and into the Future – Hosted by Ernst & Young. At the Corporate Circle Advisory Board Meeting on April 15th, guest researcher, Kathleen L. McGinn, the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, presented her analysis of the iterative and evolutionary process by which gender as a social institution plays out in the workplace, and in turn affects the ways gender plays out in the larger society. McGinn sees signs that companies are increasingly accepting the assumption that more women at the top is a good thing. The presentation was followed by a rich discussion between McGinn and the Advisory Board members, and addressed the changing and evolving nature of corporate policy and activities with respect to diversity and inclusion.
February 28, 2011
Building a Pipeline to Women’s Leadership - Hosted by American Express and sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Speakers at the event included Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman, American Express; Annalisa Jenkins, SVP, Global Health, Bristol-Myers Squibb; Sara Manzano-Díaz, Director, Women's Bureau at the United States Department of Labor; Kerrie Peraino, Chief Diversity Officer, American Express Company, Ruth J. Simmons, President, Brown University; and Susan Sturm, George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility, Columbia University Law School. These visionary leaders explored the uneven progress women are making both educationally and in their career trajectory as illustrated by such :
• The number of women leaders has stalled at 11%-18% across sectors, and in finance and STEM fields, it is much lower.
• Today, women receive the majority of Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees, but not in all fields, such as in STEM disciplines, economics and finance.
• The promise women and girls display in the classroom is not translating into key decision-making and leadership positions in their careers.
Each of the panelists shared their vision, insights, strategies, and the actions needed for unlocking women’s and girls’ potential in all fields of study and careers.
December 8, 2010
Gender Equality Project – Hosted by Citi, guest speaker Nicole Schwab discussed the new tools she has developed for assessing how well companies are progressing in terms of gender equality. Her project is based out of the Davos World Economic Forum and employs rigorous metrics. The Assessment Framework measures progress along five dimensions: Equal pay for Equivalent Work; Recruitment and Promotion; Training and Mentoring; Work-Life Balance; and Company Culture.
Nicole has been piloting this project with 7 companies, and presented both her proposed program and the results of her pilot. This tool could play an important role in advancing the issue of gender diversity within corporations, particularly at leadership levels.
November 8, 2010
Women and Money – This discussion, hosted by J.P. Morgan Private Bank, brought together members of our Corporate Circle Advisory Board and others interested in strategies for moving women into top leadership positions in the financial services. The panel featured Rosie Rios, Treasurer of the United States; Michelle Clayman, Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of New Amsterdam Partners LLC; Joe Keefe, President and CEO of Pax World Management LLC; and Rebecca Patterson, Managing Director and Global Head of Foreign Exchange and Commodities at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. The panel was moderated by Bloomberg Television Anchor and Co-host of “Inside Track,” Deirdre Bolton. Also speaking were Linda Basch, President of the National Council for Research on Women, Catherine Keating, CEO of J.P. Morgan U.S. Private Bank, and Jacki Zehner, Vice Chair of the Women’s Funding Network.
September 29, 2010
The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work – Hosted by American Express, this panel discussion focused on how women see the world through a distinctive lens and also how many companies have neglected to harness “the female vision.” Co-authors, Julie Johnson and Sally Helgesen, presented their original research and panelists Jose Garcia, Bank of America; Tracy High, Sullivan & Cromwell; and Anne Weisberg, Deloitte L.P., provided insight from their professional experiences. The discussion was moderated by Melinda Wolfe of Bloomberg, L.P.
May 26, 2010
The Power of Women’s Leadership – Hosted by Citi, this enlightening roundtable discussion about the impact of women’s leadership in the corporate sector, featured Joanna Barsh, author of How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work & Life, and Linda Tarr-Whelan, author of Women Lead the Way and was moderated by Carol Jenkins, award winning writer, producer and media analyst.
April 27-28, 2010
The Challenge and the Charge: Strategies for Retaining and Advancing Women of Color
Hosted by Time Warner and supported by numerous Corporate Circle member companies, the Summit explored best practices and strategies for enabling women and women of color to accede to the executive suites, board rooms, and positions of responsibility in the private sector. At a standing-room-only opening event moderated by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, an accomplished group of diverse corporate women shared their experiences of breaking through the “concrete ceiling” of race and gender barriers to move up the organizational chain of command. Throughout the 2 day event, speakers emphasized the importance of sponsors and mentors, as well as talent, resiliency, and a willingness to take risks as essential for success.
October 27, 2009
The Role of Formal and Informal Networks in Advancing Diversity and Careers.
Corporate Circle member Kelley, Drye, & Warren LLP, hosted this candid discussion of what works and what doesn’t in terms of both formal and informal networking for women and other underrepresented groups. At a previous GLDF meeting, the point was raised that men work and move in teams to support one another in their career paths. This meeting answered with an exploration of how formal networks can provide opportunities for women to better position themselves and make strategic use of their informal networks.
June 24, 2009
Women in Fund Management: A Road Map to Achieving Critical Mass – and Why it Matters – At a launch event at Bloomberg L.P., the Council unveiled a report making the business case for building a critical mass of women in fund management and across the financial sector. The report Women in Fund Management: a Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass - and Why it Matters, explores gender differences in investment decision-making, including evidence that women bring a more holistic and risk-intelligent approach to the table, and lays out an action plan for increasing women's access to leadership. The launch featured experts from investment funds, the financial services, researchers and educational leaders.
June 10, 2009
Women and the Economic Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities –
Hosted by Accenture (click here for full summary) - The panel explored the challenges and opportunities facing women in the current economic crisis. The crisis has brought about higher levels of stress due to increased workloads, decreased compensation, and escalating worries about job security and personal finances. But the reduction of the workforce and subsequent restructuring has also created real opportunities for women who are willing to improvise, innovate and take on new responsibilities and assignments. While tightening budgets threaten the sustainability of diversity initiatives, there is an opening for creative solutions that can lead to more flexible work arrangements, increased work/life balance and job satisfaction.
January 29, 2008
Diversity Driving Corporate Social Responsibility – Hosted by Weil Gotshal & Manges, the program highlighted the strategic implications for business, from the bottom line to recruiting and retaining top talent. The convening gathered researchers and business leaders to explore the latest trends and identify best practices in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility with a focus on how diversity, and women leaders in particular, drive CSR efforts.
November 6, 2007
Flex Practices as Strategic Imperative: Issues and Challenges Today – Hosted by Lehman Brothers, this convening examined flexible work policies as a strategic imperative for companies, as necessary to the companies' bottom lines as they are to individuals who make use of them. Panelists and participants discussed some of the deep structural and attitudinal challenges to the general acceptance of flexibility as a basic value in the workplace and in successful career planning.
May 1, 2007
Developing and Retaining Talent: Working Across Generations – Hosted by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, this convening examined successful practices and challenges for developing and retaining different generations, and working across generations. Important goals of the panel were to provide insights for this work and “take-aways” that will be useful to corporations and talent managers.
February 13, 2007
Strategically Managing Global Talent – This panel discussion was hosted by American Express to discuss both international relocation assignments and managing the global careers of women in the corporate world. Moderated by Melinda Wolfe of American Express, the panel included representatives from Catalyst, UBS AG, Cartus International, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Link to Shattered article, July 2007
October 10, 2006
Latinas and Hispanic Women in the Corporation This meeting was convened in collaboration with Merrill Lynch’s Hispanic Awareness month and brought together representatives of the corporate, academic, and legal professions. Panelists emphasized the importance of recruiting, retaining, and advancing women with a Hispanic background.
January 24, 2006
Gender Identity and Expression in the Workplace (click here for full summary) – This panel discussion focused on gender identity, expression, and discrimination in the workplace and their implications for policy and practices as well as the legal issues surrounding this topic and the broader socio-cultural contexts.
November 1, 2005
Religion in the Workplace (click here for full summary) - This meeting featured a panel discussion focusing on religious groups and individuals in companies, legal issues surrounding the often contentious topic, and conceptual approaches to dealing with the issue.
June 17, 2005
The Power of Accountability – The Calvert Women’s Principles -- Panelists discussed the Calvert Women’s Principles, launched in partnership with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which is a new global code of conduct companies can adopt to show their employees, customers and the world that they are committed to women’s advancement
June 6, 2005
NCRW Annual Conference Panel “Opting Different: Reframing the Work/Life Debate” – As a follow up to the February 1 st meeting, panelists were asked to reframe the work/life debate by filling in the gaps, outline strategies for creating change in the work environment, look at how different populations – including men – are affected by and are approaching this issue, and provide perspective in shaping work-life effectiveness
February 1, 2005
“Opting Out – Myth, Viable Option, or Media Spin?” Panelists discussed the phenomenon of “opting out” as it relates to the actual options women perceive they have, their sense of satisfaction, their career aspirations, and their realities – and how this varies across race, class, and generation. The panelists also examined the research and information lacking in the public debate, and provided tools to help participants play a role in reframing the issue in a broader context.
November 5, 2004
“The ABC’s of creating inclusive environments that maximize intellectual and leadership potential” Dr. Beverly Tatum , President of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, joined us to discuss the ABC’s of maximizing intellectual and leadership potential – Affirming identity, Building community, and Cultivating leadership.
April 30, 2004
“The Hidden Brain Drain: Women and Minorities as Underutilized Assets”
Sylvia Hewlett , Senior Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and a lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School , Princeton University and Carolyn Buck-Luce, Partner in the Global Accounts Group at Ernst & Young, led a discussion about the Task Force that they recently initiated.
January 30, 2004
Ella Bell, co-author of Our Separate Ways: Black and White Women and the Struggle for Professional Identity , led a special interactive workshop for a full afternoon around issues of race, class, sexual orientation, and gender in the workplace.
October 10, 2003
Women’s Leadership Forums
Harriet Edelman , Senior Vice President, Avon presented goals and challenges of the Leadership Summit that she spearheaded and helped to shape at Avon . Mary Hartman – Director, Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University was a respondent.
May 8, 2003
Partnerships in Developing an Ethical Approach to Globalization
A presentation by NCRW Human Security Fellows about their work focusing on issues of global violence against women and corporate citizenship. Laura Liswood, Senior Advisor and former Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity at Goldman, Sachs and co-founder of the World Economic Forum’s Women Leaders Initiative, The White House Project, and Council of Women World Leaders, moderated the discussion.
January 17, 2003
Ella L.J. Edmondson Bell , co-author of OUR SEPARATE Ways: Black and White Women and the Struggle for Professional Identity discussed findings in her book that compare and contrast the experiences of 120 black and white women managers in the American business arena. In her presentation she discussed the ways race continues to influence professional relationships between black and white women despite their shared status as women.
November 8, 2002
Work-Life Integration: The “Win-Win Agenda” & the Radcliff/Fleet Project
Anne Szostak , Executive VP and Director of Corporate Human Resources, FleetBoston Financial and Dr. Paula Rayman, discussed the “Radcliffe-Fleet Project” and its implications for creating positive changes to attract and retain a diverse and competent workforce and enhance productivity. The “Radcliffe-Fleet Project” was a joint venture developed by Rayman and Szostak in 1996 to enhance the well-being of Fleet employees and their families, and more effectively achieve Fleet’s business goals.
December 5, 2001
Advancing Women into Leadership: What does it take?
Deborah Merrill-Sands , Associate Dean, Simmons School of Management, discussed stubborn micro-inequities that can accumulate to create uncomfortable, and even hostile work environments, and strategies for addressing these inequities.
May 11, 2001
Why Corporate Women Leave Corporate Positions
Myra Strober, labor economist and Professor at Stanford University ’s School of Education and a former chair of NCRW’s Board, discussed the research from her book The Road Winds Uphill all the Way: Gender, Work, and Family in the United States and Japan as well as her consulting work in the corporate sector.
February 9, 2001
Crossing Sectors: Moving between the For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Arenas
Joyce Roche, President and CEO, Girls Inc. and Wayne Winborne, Director, Strategic Data Analysis, Prudential Financial and NCRW Board Member, discussed the common ground between sectors, where one can have the greatest impact, how diversity fits into each arena, and the motivation behind their decisions to move.
What We Do
NCRW is a network of leading university and community based research, policy, and advocacy centers with a growing global reach dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. We also have a Corporate Circle comprised of senior diversity professionals from leading U.S. and global member companies and a Presidents Circle of college and university leaders who share our commitment. NCRW harnesses the collective power of its network to provide knowledge, analysis, and thought leadership on issues ranging from reducing women’s poverty to building a critical mass of women’s leadership across sectors.