The largest companies in the U.S. – those with gross annual revenues of at least $20 billion – report a larger representation of women and other underrepresented groups on their boards of directors. Seventy percent have at least two women and 53 percent have two or more directors from underrepresented groups. Women managers, however, are increasingly opting out of high-end careers when companies fail to meet their professional needs and goals. Fewer than 15 percent of Fortune 500 officers and directors are women, and graduate business schools (unlike law and medical schools) have far fewer women than men applicants. NCRW is supporting efforts to make the corporate environment more welcoming and the career ladder more accessible to women and people of color.
There was a demonstration outside of Facebook’s New York office on Wednesday, organized by the women’s rights group UltraViolet, to protest the social media giant’s decision to appoint an all-white, all-male board ahead of its IPO. The group attempted to deliver a petition, signed by over 53,000 people, demanding that women be added to the board.
“Facebook is going to launch one of the largest IPO’s in history this summer, a success built largely on the participation of women – 58% of their users are women and the vast majority of sharing on the site is done by women – and yet zero people on the board are women.” said UltraViolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas.
Protesters argued that the decision to appoint an all-male board, was bad for the company and for users. Marie Wilson of the White House Project, an non-profit working to advance women in business, stressed the positive effects of women on boards, “We know the difference women make on boards in terms of long-term thinking that’s needed for the future and the value they bring in terms of what they want when they get on boards.” With the involvement of women, the board would better understand and serve its mostly female users, she argued.
Goldman Sachs and MetLife have announced that they will release gender and racial demographic data on their workforce. John Liu, New York City’s Comptroller who also serves as an advisor and trustee for the city's pension funds, has been working for months to convince the companies the funds invest in to disclose their work force diversity.
The information is available and has been since 1964, because under the Civil Rights Act of that year, companies with 100 workers or more have had to report the data on race and gender annually to the U.S. Department of Labor. The problem has been, they were not under any requirement to release that data to the public, or even to local governments such as New York.
“Transparency is key for ensuring equal pay as well as equal opportunity for workers of all backgrounds,” said Beverly Neufeld, president of New York Women's Agenda & Director of the Equal Pay Coalition NYC. “This agreement creates that and underscores just how much willing and interested leaders in government and in business can do together to address inequality in the workplace.”
And there’s a lot of inequality, especially in the higher ranks at companies where the lack of diversity is greatest.
Watch out, Mitt. Barbie has stepped onto the campaign trail and will officially announce her bid for President on Thursday.
The I Can Be…President Barbie doll by manufacturer Mattel and in partnership with The White House Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit that aims to involve more women in politics, will be in mass distribution. Presale begins tomorrow, but Mattel expects it to hit shelves everywhere in August in four different races: Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American and Asian.
Virginia Rometty appeared at the U.S. Masters golf tournament in a pink jacket, not the green associated with membership in the male-only Augusta National typically bestowed on IBM CEOs, the AP reports.
Rometty, sitting in a lawn chair, had a prime location just a few rows behind the 18th green. She is known to be an avid scuba diver, not much of a golfer. But she knew enough about the game to applaud several good shots into the final hole.
Rometty has brought the issue of female members at Augusta National back to the fore since being named IBM's new chief executive earlier this year. IBM is one of the longtime sponsors of the tournament, and its last four CEOs, all males, were invited to be members. Augusta National's chairman, Billy Payne, has refused to provide a substantive answer to that question, saying the club's membership decisions are private.
IBM has also declined to comment, and security around the company's hospitality cabin at Augusta was tight all week.
But do you want to know why there’s sexism in tech? Because it comes from society at large, and even at the very top, we allow it to happen.
Traditionally, the Augusta National Golf Club has bestowed honorary green jackets representing membership to the club upon the CEOs of its three main television sponsors for the U.S. Masters – except for this year. Virginia Rometty is the current CEO of IBM, and so far has not been given membership – like every other CEO before her, solely because she is a woman.
I appreciate that as a private club it has a prerogative to decide, and am certain that I wouldn’t be able to influence a clearly outdated organization to change its views.
But I would have expected more from IBM — and of us as a tech community to declare this as unacceptable.
So the following thoughts are not directed at the board of Augusta National. These thoughts are directed at Ms. Rometty, chief executive of IBM. I ask simply in an open letter “Why have you not pulled your company’s sponsorship?” And more specifically “Why do you allow them to disrespect you in this way?”
The past 12 months have seen women take the lead in some of the toughest economic and political environments: Christine Lagarde became the first female to head the International Monetary Fund, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has emerged as the key figure in solving the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and Maria das Gracas Foster has taken over at Petrobras, becoming the first woman to run one of the world’s top five oil companies. Women also head governments in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Thailand.
However, the GrantThorton International Business Report 2012 survey shows that just 21% of senior management roles are held by women globally, figure which has barely moved over the past decade. Moreover, just 9% of businesses have a female CEO. This short report explores why this issue matters, the current state of play and what is being done about it.
Women are bringing a much needed source of emotional intelligence to the top table and as a result improving a board's ability to innovate, make consensual decisions and connect with customers and staff. This is according to a survey by Inspire, the business network for senior board level women supported by Harvey Nash.
The survey, completed by 326 board-level executives across 19 countries and part of Inspire's Return on Diversity report, revealed that almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) believe women are bringing a greater level of emotional intelligence (EI) to the board which in turn brings greater cultural understanding (91% believed better EI boosted the board's ability in this area), better board consensus (80%) and greater creativity and innovation (75%).
The report by New York-based GMI Ratings, a corporate governance consulting firm, is based on an analysis of salaries of more than 1,900 CFOs at Russell 3000 Index (RAY) companies with a market value of $100 million to $25 billion in 2010. About 150 of the CFOs were women.
“There is real discrimination, but nobody wants to deal with it," said Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of Value alliance Co. Female CFOs received on average $1.32 million a year in total compensation, compared with $1.54 million for their male counterparts, according to a model based on the analysis. Compensation included base salary, bonuses, grant-date value of stock awards and stock option grants and retirement benefits.
The firm said its model accurately predicted a CFO’s gender. The lower the salary, the more likely the CFO would be female.
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.