Embarrassing emails from Sony executives and Hollywood celebrities got the headlines and the jeering tweets, but the hack, reportedly coming from North Korea, was a devastating cyber-takedown of the $20 billion company.
Well we did it. Made it through another year. Women have had some good news and some bad news with a bit of the ridiculous thrown in. So let's review some items affecting the female sex both here and abroad that didn't make the front pages in 2014.
While the state of Massachusetts seems to be leading the rest of the country in gender diversity on corporate boards there is still a significant disparity when it comes to racial and ethnic diversity. To level the playing field requires change and that change must come from the top.
Once again the results are in and once again they show that executive compensation in the U.S. has escalated dramatically. It has gone up more than corporate earnings, inflation, the stock market, and the pay of almost everyone in the country, not to mention the world.
All the women who own stock in American companies should pay attention to this egregious discrimination, educate themselves about the boards of companies they invest in and use their voting power as a group to insist on change.
Throughout her career, Debra L. Reed has been a champion for diversity. Under her leadership Sempra has achieved more diversity than any other utility in the country, with more women and people of color hired, trained and promoted.
If we look at the advances of women on the global stage, we can see momentum in the public and political arena. Yet, in start-ups, investment banking and manufacturing, where real money is made, not much has changed over the past decade.
Our collective narrative about leadership, both its traits and aesthetics, are profoundly gendered. As such, when we see a strong, smart woman leading, it is tempting and familiar to ascribe her success to gender alone.
It's definitely not the first company to go public without any women on the board. I would wager nine out of ten companies that went public in the last twenty years had no women on their boards, either. And there was nary a headline about that.
Instead of having to deal with a room full of people that are put off every time you voice your opinion, or face being stuck in a rut because no one wants to risk changing anything, many women are simply forgoing the traditional corporate ascent and striking out on their own.
One of the biggest obstacles blocking the ascent of many women is an outdated perception that a narrow list of credentials is critical to being a good board member. Historically, these credentials have been those that men, as they have risen to the tops of organizations, have acquired.
I worked with a number of boards and board chairs over the summer, and here are the things on their minds and the things they'll be grappling with this autumn, above and beyond the usual business of the year.
The role of global, national and regional NGOs/nonprofits is to improve lives, communities and our world. Only a high-performing board -- in partnership with the CEO -- can truly achieve the organization's mission.