On Boards, Sponsors and A Different Kind of Muse

Time for another smorgasbord. 10 stories from the past few weeks - many from abroad:
  1. Why You Should Want More Women at the Top by
  2. imposing a code of practice on headhunters who recruit board-level staff, establishing a group of executives to play a counseling role for female appointees and the creation of an academy to train successful businesswomen." In a related article in the International Business Times he is quoted as saying:
    "...[we] also debated how to increase the transparency of board appointments made via a nomination committee," he noted...'There needs to be more pressure on companies to open up their recruitment process and to bring women up the ranks from within the business. Companies could be required to provide board internships to give senior staff the experience of what it means to be on a board.'"
  3. Pressure Through Publicity. Tackling the women on boards problem from a slightly different perspective, the Confederation of British Industry is recommending that, "Listed companies should be required to report diversity progress on a 'comply or explain' basis to boost the number of women in boardrooms." 
  4. Cosmetic Dentistry and Hair Dye. A recent study from Great Britain identifies the steps people will go to to attain the attractiveness they believe is necessary for career success.
  5. Focus on Sponsors. Catalyst has brought focus on the importance of having someone in your court who helped you advance. These people used to be called mentors until mentoring programs became required and this high-stakes advocacy leaked out of the mix. Now they are called "sponsors"...whether the same thing will happen with "sponsorship programs" is to be seen. Anyway, the importance of having advocates in your career corner was an important topic at the International Women's Forum in Montreal. 
  6. A Different Kind of Muse. If you've read my book, No Ceiling, No Walls, you would predict that I would love this story (another out of Great Britain) about  Karen Gill and Maxine Benson, the founders of Everywoman, who are behind a new project to encourage more young women to become business leaders - by offering up more positive role models. Helping young women look  to professional women of accomplishment as role models instead of (or in addition to) the latest celebrity, is a VERY worthy goal!
  7. Cheapening Women? A Daily Mail article on the British women on boards debate...the argument against quotas would "cheapen" women. Excuse me, but I don't think that evidence bears that out...ask the women who now comprise 40+% of board seats in Norway.
  8. Breeding Grounds for Entrepreneurs. It might surprise you (or not) that less wealthy countries have a higher rate of women-owned businesses. With 11% women entrepreneurs and 18.5% men, the U.S. comes in 16th in this list of the 20 countries with the highest percentage. #1 is Thailand! Japan has more women-owned businesses than men-owned.
  9. Closing the Gender Pay Gap. In this article for the CNN, Nancy Carter of Catalyst describes the gap and offers some actions women can take, but lets the companies off the hook. Without pay-equity audits (conducted by only a small percentage of companies), organizations are likely to continue to take the risk of a wage discrimination lawsuit as a "cost of doing business."
  10. Breaking into the G20. 4 women participated in the G20 Summit in November, the largest number ever! Attending were Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina; Dilma Rousseff, president-elect of Brazil; Julia Gillard, prime minister of Australia and Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany
Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls.  Follow her on Twitter.

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Poonam Barua said...

Dear Susan:

You will enjoy reading my post on "ET Awards: for Inclusive Corporate India?" --

This well publicized and distinguished Economic Times Award for corporate India -- has an all-male Jury, all male Awardees, and all male Panel Speakers!

The over 40% of women in corporate India -- contributing to the excellent 9% GDP growth rate -- are fully discounted and have no place when it comes to recognition.

"Men in black-suits will give awards to men in black-suits" -- so what's new?

Poonam Barua,
Founder Chairman, WILL Forum India, New Delhi

Susan Colantuono said...

Hello Poonam, checked out your blog http://poonambarua.blogspot.com/

and couldn't find a post on ET Awards. I'd love to feature it here. Please send a URL to the post.

Talk with you on Monday,