September 14, 2011
Women (Not!) on Board
It’s a sad fact: while plenty of reports say boards with more women make good business sense, men are still overwhelmingly dominating corporate boards. In fact, more than 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies have no women on their boards.
“Women control 80 percent of the spending in the U.S., so it’s pretty ridiculous to have that kind of spending power and yet not have women representing on boards,” Hala Moddelmog, president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., tells PINK. She is currently a member of one public company board and three nonprofit boards.
Women’s presence on corporate boards has flat-lined in the past six years and decreased for minorities, according to an Alliance for Board Diversity study.
Moddelmog finds current statistics discouraging, but she’s optimistic. “The longer I’m in the business world, the more women I meet who have held the right kind of roles and who have an enormous value to add.”
When Moddelmog researched boards, she sought out opportunities and was certified through weekend programs at the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Kellogg School of Management because “I wanted to be board-ready when I got to that point in my career.” The fact that she’d spent her own money on getting educated impressed her interviewers.
Women can stand out by “having had a career that produced results,” Moddelmog adds. Plus, “taking a leadership role on a nonprofit boards will teach you about how boards work.” Susan Stautberg’s OnBoard Bootcamps offer short seminars on the ins-and-outs of board membership.
Some say opportunities for women are growing thanks to global competition among big companies and swapping out "sitting CEOs" for more active members.
Bonus PINK Link: Find out why companies see positive results from having more female board members.
By Caroline Cox
"Sometimes the best man for the job isn't." Unknown
*Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Pixomar, winnond and Ambro.