WOMEN ARE READY TO GO… ready to have an impact, be fully engaged, to make a difference and be a Director on a Board.

The 12th Annual Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers of Massachusetts Public Companies was released this week.  The 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts set new records of the percentage of women in their boardrooms and executive suites, continuing a three year pattern of progress.  The accomplished women who serve in these leadership positions are making significant contributions to the success of these companies in the global marketplace.  Although fewer  Massachusetts companies continue to operate with all male boards, too many of them still fail to take advantage of vacancies to diversify these leadership groups. Only 14.9% of all these public companies have one or more women on their Board of Directors and nearly one quarter of the largest public companies continue to operate with all male boards.  Almost half have no women in the executive suite.  Nationally only 16% of public companies have women on their Boards as well.  Companies least diverse are from the manufacturing and technology sectors.  The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University is working to support and advance women throughout their careers to see the opportunities from undergraduate student to CEO and board members. Bentley is encouraging Massachusetts companies to renew their efforts to develop and expand the pipeline of talented women leaders.  Despite overwhelming evidence that engaged female talent is a key driver of competitive advantage, workplace diversity remains a challenge.  When women thrive, business wins.  Statistics show that a diversified board does better.   There is work to be done and we need men to help us.  The Boston Club, whose mission is to bring names forward for corporate and for non-profit board positions also partners with three organizations: 20/20 ,  ION ,  30%.   So get your name out there to apply.  Young women are getting more exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and this will be good news for  future opportunities.  And don’t forget about finance.  This topic is critical for new board members to have in-depth knowledge to make decisions for the health of the company.  Put yourself out there to interview for these positions.  You too can make a difference immediately.

WOMEN IN THE NEWS

Girls Who Code is galvanizing a tech industry faced with gender imbalance.  The founder Reshma Saujani, is aiming to address the urgent concern in the US tech industry that in 2020 there will be 1.4 million computing jobs in the US. Getting high school girls to have confidence and be interested in learning the skills for coding is one of the goals.  Say ‘Javascript’ is her organization that runs 19 summer camps across the country for girls.  Saujani wrote a business plan for her non profit, went viral, and has already introduced nearly 4,000 girls to coding.  Ninety five percent of the Girls Who Code participants plan on majoring or minoring in computer science.  “Learning code is even more powerful than learning a foreign language.  “With code, you can change the world.”

1989 the year Taylor Swift was born, the name of her newest album has sold over 1.3 million copies in the first week. She branched out, recreated her music, and took a risk. Her “first documented official pop album,” represents a musical departure from the country pop style in her earlier works. 1989 production is built on synthesizers, pulsating bass, processed backing vocals and guitars. Its lyrical content is based mainly on Swift’s style of writing about love, the album’s content frequently discusses the complexities of relationships. Every time I hear an interview with her I am impressed as to her focus, creativity, and boldness.  She made a radical decision to pull all her music off Spotify. Swift said it best: Shake it off.

Renaissance Woman-What is the modern definition? To quote artist Shirin Neshat, “A desire to constantly reinvent yourself, your body, your character and your art; to age gracefully and wisely; to look beautiful; to remain feminine; to be in love; to take risks; to remain a student; to be strong.”  To quote businesswoman Pamela Joyner, “To have abundant curiosity and take calculated risks, set visionary goals and achieve successes.  She is an inspiration to and guiding light for future generations of women”

So Ready Set Go is the motto of the day.  Now go out and make a difference and get on a board!

Have a great week…Carol