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One of the biggest obstacles blocking the ascent of many women is an outdated perception that a narrow list of credentials is critical to being a good board member.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.
Long derided as "corporate raiders" only interested in making a fast buck often to the long-term detriment of their target companies, some recent successful activist investor campaigns have done much to rightfully disprove this long-held misconception.
What does it mean to get compensation right? And why does it matter so much? Getting it right is called "fair and reasonable" by the IRS. It's what the law requires, it's what any CEO wants, and it's what any donor and member of the public expects.
By sixteen I could have been the poster child for a crisis nursery, domestic violence shelter, and rape crisis center. On the positive side, however, I grew up in a neighborhood with friends from many countries, religions, and races.
Women are being pummeled by the financial crisis. But that's because women are too dependent on the state. We haven't bothered to get the skills that might get us more money, and more clout. If men have been allowed to rule the roost, that's because women have let them.
Boards are biased, too like-minded, made up of friends who are typically cronies uncomfortable with conflict. Worse still, in most of our leading corporations today, the positions of Chairman and CEO are held by the same person.