Views from Abroad (no, that's not a broad!)

In Jamaica the U.N. is demonstrating its commitment to advancing women onto boards. 100 women will be trained because a study...
"...found that in the last decade, women's participation on boards in Jamaica only moved marginally by two per cent in the private sector and four per cent in the public sector. It also found that while men believe overwhelmingly that women are prepared for senior decision making positions on boards and commissions, women themselves do not share this view as enthusiastically."
And with data about women and the quality of board governance that I hadn't seen before, Sandra Glasgow, executive director of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, opened the program noting that...
"...a major study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada in 2002 on women and corporate boards, suggested a strong link between female numbers on boards and good governance credential. In this, researchers found that more female directors pay attention to audit and risk oversight and control; that women more than men tend to consider the needs of more categories of stakeholders and that 72 per cent of boards with two or more women conduct formal board performance evaluations, while only 40 per cent of all-male boards do."
As a strong advocate for getting more women on boards, I know that correlation isn't the same as causation and address explanations for this kind of finding. Nevertheless, it's important to broadcast this data widely. Read more about the Jamaican program here.

I continue to find value in Jim Collins Good to Great research, especially the qualities of "personal humility and intense professional will" that he noted as attributes of the executives he and his team of researchers studied. Adele Horin, writing an op ed for the Brisbane Times, has an interesting take on luck, humility and success in this age of economic turmoil.
"It's been unfashionable in the greedy years to give luck the credit it deserves in shaping destiny. For women in particular luck is a tricky issue. Research shows men attribute their success to talent and hard work and most women attribute their success to luck. Such self-effacement has not reflected well on women...

In the greedy years, the male explanation for success became the norm. Humility went out the window. Hard men like Mark Latham made it sound that anyone could succeed if they were "aspirational". Idealogues like John Howard put the onus on individual effort, and free choice. Those with the drive, the talent, and the plan could move deliberately and purposefully up the ladder. The word "loser" came into vogue to describe the people who lacked the moral fibre, the gumption and the strategy to succeed.

But now the best-laid plans are in tatters. If it is not plans for a well-remunerated retirement, it is plans for promotion that are in shreds, or for a career in finance for the thousands of commerce graduates coming through, or for the job-with-prospects in print media for the hundreds of journalism students. All such plans have been ripped apart by a tempest that was unforeseen."

In India, women entrepreneurs and CEOs have joined hands to form the first-of-its-kind social networking platform to encourage more women in becoming entrepreneurs.
"The organisation will be holding workshops, knowledge and training sessions across 15 cities in the next three months to encourage more women to start businesses of their own. The best of the lot, handpicked by a panel of leading women entrepreneurs, will be presented with the Stree Shakti Awards during June this year."
Stree Shakti, the women's wing of the world's largest non-profit organisation of entrepreneurs (TiE), hopes to have Melinda Gates and Indra Nooyi attend the celebration...great choices both!

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Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women. She blogs on networking for PINK Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.

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