Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How Can Women Use "Women on Boards of Directors” Data – Effectively?

1. Watch the trends – note especially when you see several firms doing the same thing.

The Financial Services Industry has “got religion” – they’re hiring women in order to target their marketing efforts to increase their market share of female investors.

    • Merrill Lynch & Co. created a Women’s Business Development unit and has conducted surveys of how women’s investment patterns are different from those of men, including their greater reliance on financial advisors

    • American Express offers seminars on “Strong Women, Powerful Financial Strategy” and has long focused on women owned businesses through it’s OPEN Small Business Network.

    • Charles Schwab created a personal financial relationship service that will also focus on women clients.

    • Lehman Brothers set up Women’s Partnership – a membership-only wealth management service where femal executives can exchange views and network professionally.

    • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is collaborating with Financial Women’s Association through Morgan’s managing director, Kelly Mathieson who is also president of FWA, to promote financial advices and services to the female marketplace.

    • Citigroup has had a long-standing program, Women & Co., headed up by Lisa Caputo, offering financial services to women for a $125 annual membership fee for access to Smith Barney financial advisors.

    • PNC Financial Service Group Inc.’s PNC Advisors targets high-net worth female cleints via its Women’s Financial Services network.

    • Prudential Financial did a survey in 2004 and learned that women were a significant source of sole/joint responsibility for family finances and retirement resources.

    • Investment Company Institute did a similar survey of women investors.

    • Phoenix Wealth Management, insurance and wealth management products/services, has produced a number of ads focusing on women.

2. Look at the top to determine the number of women on boards of the firms that are increasing their marketing to women.

See if the companies are “just talking the talk” or if their management development strategies also “walk the new walk” and recognize that women consitute a viable market as investors, consumers, employees – but ALSO as leaders, executives, and board members.

Let’s look at the “stats” of these same firms – what is the individual and overall performance of these companies in terms of women on their boards of directors? And how does it compare to other top comparable firms?

CompanyWomen out of TotalPct.
Merrill Lynch3 out of 11 directors27.3%
American Express2 out of 12 directors16.7%
Charles Schwab2 out of 10 directors20.0%
Lehman Brothers2 out of 10 directors20.0%
J.P. Morgan1 out of 17 directors5.9%
Citigroup3 out of 17 directors17.7%
PNC Financial Services Group2 out of 15 directors13.3%
Prudential Financial2 out of 12 directors16.7%
Investment Company Institute3 out of 19 directors15.8%
Phoenix Wealth Management4 out of 13 directors30.8%

Overall, these 10 firms averaged 17.6% of their board of director seats occupied by women. This is above the national average of Fortune 500 firms at 13.6%. [Source: Catalyst]

The average size of their boards of directors is larger than the average Fortune 500 firm – almost 14 directors vs. 11 directors for the average F500 firm. Some researchers suggest that large firms would rather add a seat to their board in order to bring women in rather than replace an existing male board member and keep the board size the same.

Over 60% of the firms have only 1 or 2 women – still considered “tokenism” by most researchers. The remainder have 3 or 4 women on their boards -- progress.

3. Look at where they put their money.

Evaluate the motivations underlying their “new” targeting strategy by examining the content of their surveys and research, both from the company and from their organizational representatives.

The real question is whether these securities investment firms are targeting women because they perceive them to be sources of market growth and product insight or because they see women as an “easy target” for their more aggressive marketing efforts.

The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) established an Investor Education Foundation in 2003 with $10 Million that was collected from fines realting to Treasury auction market violations involving Soloman Bros. The first 11 grants for 2004 totaled $1.1 Million of which $425,7000 went to three universities for research focused on women-investors:

  • $202,700 went to Iowa State University, to personal-finance specialist Tahira Hira to survey why there exists a gender difference in attitudes and emotions about finance.

  • $73,000 went to Rutgers University for Maureen Morrin, associate professor of marketing to study whether a wide variety of mutual funds in a 401(k) plan has a negative impact on investor choices (especially women) and

  • $150,000 went to Boston College to Steve Sass’ Center for Retirement Research to develop a computer game to help women aged 45 to 60 year with at least $75,000 in assets better address their retirement income needs.

The NASD’s grants to major universities will “study women’s investment behavior, part of its first efforts to steer money collected from fines [for securities violations] into investor-education programs”.

According to the WSJ article, “NASD Announces Three Grants To Study Investment Gender Gap”, by Colleen DeBaise [WSJ, 4-27-05, D2],

    “Women face particular challenges because they live longer, step out of the work force to raise children, and often make less money than men, said Steve Sass, an associate director at [Boston College’s] Center for Retirement Research.

    “Women tend to be often less focused on long-term financial issues, . . They are the major pocket of poverty in our retirement system – older widows in particular, and older, single women.”

According to Elisse Walter, NASD executive vice president, “We try to look at areas that we think are underserved,” adding that “A 2003 survey conducted by the NASD identified women, the elderly and novice investors as the best targets for education initiatives.”

The real question, now, is whether these universities will use the grant money to actually HELP women improve their effectiveness and intelligence as financial participants, or whether the information will be used by securities investment firms to HELP women separate themselves from their newly-acquired wealth.

Additional sources of information: National Association of Securities Dealersand the National Endowment for Financial Education

Friday, April 15, 2005

More Data -- The Status of Women in Professional Leadership

  • American Bar Association's annual report on women lawyers -
    Commission on Women in the [Legal] Profession

  • National Association for Law Placement Surveys' national and local surveys of women lawyers - NALP Research

  • American Medical Association's annual report on the status of women physicians Women's Physicians Congress

  • National Sciences Foundation's every other year report on the status of women in science and engineering: Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities

  • American Institute of Architects' forthcoming research on women and diversity in architecture: Data Collection Resolution and Article on Women in Architecture

  • Securities Industry Association's survey of women and minorities in finance: SIA

  • Women in Communications Industry surveys by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania: Women Leaders in Communications Companies

  • Women in Academia survey by the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women: CEW

  • Women Faculty at International Business Schools: business school rankins
  • Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Augusta National Golf Club -- where ARE the Boards?

    Martha Burk, President of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, takes issue with public companies that have corporate codes of conduct alleging non-discrimination, yet which subsidize an event, the Masters, and the owning/sponsoring organization, Augusta National, which excludes women from its membership.

    Green Jacket Cronies
    by Martha Burk, Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2005; Page A14

    For a History of the Augusta National Golf Club allegations, see Martha Burk’s web site, and

    Masters at silencing a voice
    by Carol Slezak, SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST, April 10, 2005

    Teed Off at Hootie and His Boys
    by Andrés Martinez
    Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2005 p. B15:

      “So there you have it – publicly traded companies with strong anti-discriminatory codes of conduct are spending their money shoring up a bastion of gender discrimination, mainly because it’s a playground for CEOs. Talk about a stupid move in the age of Sarbanes-Oxley. Where are the directors of these companies who take their fiduciary duties seriously?”

      “(And here I must tip my hat to a legendary sportswriter from the Los Angeles Times, the late [great] Jim Murray, who didn’t just want to focus on the game; he repeatedly mocked Augusta’s racism until he shamed the club into admitting Lee Elder in 1975.)”

    Sunday, April 10, 2005

    An Equal Playing Field?

    Eric Arriaran is the best player in boy’s high school basketball, thanks to his speed, strength, and skill. But it’s his unselfish style and generosity on the court that make him PARADE’s Player of the Year on our 29th annual All-American High School Boy’s Basketball team.

    The 5-foot-10 point guard led Norco High in Norco, Calif. to a 28-1 record after winning a gold medal on the USA Junior National team last summer.

    “Eric is a consummate team player,” says his coach, Rick Thomson. He averages almost seven assists per game and often forgoes field goal attempts in matchups against weaker teams. “Instead of scoring big numbers, he unselfishly lets his teammates improve, build confidence and bond as a team,” Thompson explains.

    But in tough games, Eric uses his sweet pull-up jump shot and deadly accuracy from 3-point range to pulverize opponents. He averages 17.2 points per game but has scored as many as 41 in a single contest.

    Off the court, Eric maintains a 3.7 GPA and won the “Principal’s Award” for excellence in science at Norco High. He will play for Texas in the fall.

    Source: Meet Parade’s All America High School Boy’s Basketball Team, by Michael O’Shea. L.A. Times Parade, April 10, 2005, p. 10.

    Editorial confession: After trying to tell my husband that O’Shea's article -- written about Girls' Basketball -- was a typically gender-biased commentary, emphasing "unselfishness", "bonding" and other traits unworthy of competitive basketball, I re-wrote the above article using the male gender nouns/pronouns instead and sent it to him. The original article was about Erika Arriaran -- everything else is the same. It just looks and sounds “weird” to use these words to describe the boy's game.

    Monday, April 4, 2005

    Women in Media and News

    Jennifer Pozner is the founder and director of Women in Media and News (WIMN). WIMN promotes accurate portrayals of women in news and the entertainment media.

    Jennifer Pozner addressed the appearance of women in reality TV in "Bachelor Babes, Bridezillas and Husband Hunting Harems: Decoding Reality TV's Twisted Fairy Tales." The presentation, which included clips from shows such as "The Bachelor," "Joe Millionaire," "America's Next Top Model" and "American Idol", took place in the Webster University UC Sunnen Lounge in front of a diverse audience of students and faculty.


    Ripon College: Jennifer Pozner, a freelance writer and the founder and director of Women in Media and News, will address stereotypes and reality television at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the Great Hall of Harwood Memorial Union at Ripon College.


    Jennifer Pozner, founder and director of Women In Media & News (WIMN), spoke to a crowd at Saint Mary's Tuesday about the exclusion of women from the news arena and about the American public being fed bias and sometimes false war coverage.

    In a lecture entitled "Media, Women and War: How does the Invisibility of Women's Voices in War Coverage Shortchange America?" Pozner cited example after example of how women are underrepresented and stereotyped on network television and in newspapers.

    Pozner said no women sit on the boards of major media conglomerates FOX News, MSNBC and Clear Channel. Editorial rooms are equally male-dominated, Pozner said, and minorities fare even worse, composing "just three percent of daily newsroom jobs."


    Watch for more information at

    Sunday, April 3, 2005

    Resources for the Enlightened Woman

    What do we have to do to get the attention of the public mainstream radio, television, newsprint, newsjournal media when there are some current events that cover something besides opening day in Steroid City Baseball, the Cancellation of NHL Season, or the Final Four of NCAA Basketball?

    Pay attention -- there are events happening that we want to hear about! Let's get a little coverage of the real news, guys!
    Women Scientists on Gender, Race, and Nationality
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
    April 30, 2005, 8:30am - 6:00pm
    Harvard University’s Women’s Task Forces:
    Task Force on Women Faculty
    Task Force on Women in Science and Engineering
    National Symposium for the Advancement of Women in Science
    April 7-10, 2005

    Saturday, April 2, 2005

    Who and Where Are the Female “Thought Leaders” of Today?

    So, if Gloria Steinem and Camilla Paglia are so “yesterday” – which I don’t believe for a moment – then who and where are the “thought leaders” among today’s females?

    They’re everywhere, if you’re a dedicated reader. But, they are part of the “great ignored” of contemporary public media.

    These are just a few of the women about whom and from whom I would like to hear and read more – rather than continue to hear the same old and well-worn tirades that I get from radio, newspapers, television, blogs today. I don’t know how much more clearly I can say it – let’s hear it from the women for a change.

    Catherine Hakin, London School of Economics “Choosing to Be Different: Women, Work and The Family” with Jill Kirby, Center for Policy Studies, Princeton University, concludes that “men are more work-centered” and that explains their advancement in business.

    Uri Gneezy, University of Chicago Business School, forthcoming in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; conducted tests on paying men to perform mental and physical tasks; men responded to more money to do more boring work; women didn’t; men respond to competition, especially with women.

    Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University. “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide” with Sara Lasehaven, Princeton University Press, October 2003; women “lose” by not negotiating as effectively as men.

    Bethany McLean (and Peter Elkind), The Smartest Guys in the Room, The : The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron (Portfolio Trade; Reprint edition (September 28, 2004) ISBN: 1591840538 (Fortune Magazine Journalists)

    Rebecca Smith (and John R. Emschwiller) 24 Days: How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the Lies that Destroyed Faith in Corporate America (HarperBusiness (August, 2003)) ISBN: 0060520736 (WSJ Reporters)

    Maggie Mahar, Bull! : A History of the Boom, 1982-1999: What Drove the Breakneck Market -- and What Every Investor Needs to Know About Financial Cycles (HarperBusiness (November 1, 2003)) ISBN: 006056413X

      “Before becoming a financial journalist, Maggie Mahar was an English professor at Yale University, teaching 19th and 20th century poetry and prose. In 1982, she began covering financial markets, freelancing for Money magazine, Institutional Investor, and The New York Times, before joining Barron's as a senior writer in 1986. There, she wrote cover stories about Wall Street and Washington, specializing in profiles and investigative pieces. In 1998, she wrote a column about international markets and economics for Bloomberg. “ from

    Drew Gilpin Faust, Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study: named by Dr. Lawrence Summers to head up one of two Harvard task forces on women in science and engineering; co-organizer of a March 19, 2005 consortium at Radcliffe Institute on the subject, “Feminism on the Record: Reviewing the 1960s and 1970s” which had an interesting collection of panelist that I would have like to have heard – even if Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute didn’t.

    See: Feminism Record

    Some of the other female thought-leaders from the the two panels are listed below. What is so amazing to me is that we continue to hear the rantings and ravings of Limbaughs and Imuses, but we seldon hear anything from the intelligent group of individuals represented by this esteemed gathering.

    Nancy F. Cott, Director, Schlesinger Library at Harvard-Radcliffe

    Winifred Breines, Northeastern University, “Contestations and Silences in 1960s Research: The Case of Women’s Liberation”

    Serena Mayeri, NYU School of Law, “Constitutional Choices: Triumph of Pragmatic Legal Feminism”

    Cynthia Harrison, George Washington University, “Race, Class and The Feminist Policy Agenda”

    Ann D. Braude, Harvard Divinity School, “Religion and Feminism Before the Culture Wars”

    Marjorie Spruill, University of South Carolina, “Women’s Rights and Family Values: The 1977 International Women’s Year Conferences and the Polarization of American Women”

    Kathy Davis, Utrecht University, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, “Dear Collective … Letters from the Readers of Our Bodies, Ourselves”
    Jane J. Mausbridge, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

    On March 21, there was another panel on “Impediments to Change: Revisiting the Women in Science Question”

    See: Impediments

    Mahzarin Banaji, Richard Clark Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University;

    Carol K. Pforzheimer, Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

    Nancy Hopkins, Amgen Inc.; Professor of Molecular Biology, MIT, exposed that university’s sex discrimination practices in the 1990s and served as chair of the first Committee on Women Faculty in the School of Science from 1995 through 1999. Dr. Hopkins is often cited as the professor who walked out, in disgust, at the presentation by Harvard President Summers. Later, we have learned, Dr. Hopkins has received death threats for her willingness to stand up to the verbal diatribe.
    So much for the arguments about "freedom of speech" theory, here.

    I took a look at Prof. Lotte Bailyn’s MIT Sloan report of the history of what Dr. Hopkins and other women at MIT accomplished over a dedicated 10 year window. After reading Prof. Bailyn’s description of what the Women in the School of Science went through at MIT in the mid-1990s, thanks in large part to Nancy Hopkins, I concluded that Dr. Hopkins has earned our gratitude, our respect, and the right to walk out on whoever she damn well chooses.

    Evelyn Fox Keller (moderator), Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science, MIT

    Mariangela Lisanti, President of Women in Science at Harvard-Radcliffe

    Elizabeth S. Spelke, Professor of Psychology, Co-director of the Mind, Brain, and Behavioral Interfaculty Initiative, Harvard.

    Just to show that I’m not pigheaded in my list of female thought-leaders -- I’ll even include Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute and co-authors of “One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self Reliance” (due out in April 2005) from St. Martin’s Press.

    Christina Hoff Sommers, Associate Professor at Clark University, author: “Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women” (1994: Simon & Schuster) on the differences between “equity feminism” --- the pursuit of equality under and before the law, and “gender feminism” --- “gyno-centricity” or “man-hating” (misandrism)

    Patricia Williams, interdisciplinary legal scholar and public intellectual, MacArthur Fellow, Professor at Columbia Law School; author, “The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor” -- an autobiographical work that illuminates some of America's most complex problems.

    Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights and women’s rights advocate; Nobel Peace Prize winner, 2003

    Barbara Seaman, author: “The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth”

    Barbara Ransby, author: “Ella Baker and The Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision”.

    Malalai Joya, Afghan loya jirge delegate and advocatae for women’s rights in the new Afghan constitution.

    Katha Pollitt, “Subject to Debate” columnist for The Nation and author: “Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture”.

    Robin T. Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, Harvard; author: “The Language War” (2000); examining the connections between the politics of language and the language of politics.

    Naomi Klein, author: “No Logo”, called “the Das Kapital of the growing anti-corporate movement”; columnist for the Guardian/UK

    Naomi Wolf - author, “The Beauty Myth”, challenged the cosmetics industry and the marketing of unrealistic standards of beauty, launching a new wave of feminism in the early 1990s. Also wrote: “Fire With Fire”

    Susan Estrich, Professor of Law, University of Southern California, commentator on gender and missing voices in the mainstream print media; gender asymetry: separate AND unequal.

    Sherry Beth Ortner: Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, gender and power; author: “Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture” (1974)

    Arlie Russell Hochschild, Sociology Dept., UC Berkeley, author: “The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work” (1997: Metropolitan Books)

    Lizabeth Cohen, Howard Mumford James Professor of American Studies, Harvard, author: “A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America” (2003: Alfred A. Knopf)

    Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and as, co-founder and director of Organs Watch, is the authority on the study of the worldwide system of organ trafficking.

    Katherine Newman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Urban Studies, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard; Chair, NSF training program “Inequality and Social Policy”; author: “No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City” (1999)

    Saskia Sassen, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, author: “Denationalization: Economy and Polity in a Global Digital Age” (2003: Princeton University); global economics; governance and accountability in the global economy

    Susan Faludin, author: “Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women”

    Carol Gilligan, Harvard Professor, “women promote an inherently more sensitive, more “related” way of thinking”, author: “In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development”

    Deborah Rhode, Stanford Law School Professor: “the law [profession] may become a ‘pink collar ghetto””; author: “The Difference "Difference" Makes: Women and Leadership“ and “Access To Justice”

    Lotte Bailyn, Professor of Management (in the Organization Studies Group) at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of the MIT Workplace Center, author: “Breaking the Mold: Women, Men, and Time in the New Corporate World” (1993) and “Beyond Work-Family Balance” with Rhona Rapoport, Joyce K. Fletcher, and Bettye Pruitt (Jossey-Bass, 2002)

    Virginia Valian, psychologist at Hunter College and author: “Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women” (1998)

    Barbara Waugh, co-founded HP's Sustainability Network, as well as e-inclusion and Author of “The Soul in the Computer: the Story of a Corporate Revolutionary”.

    Marie C. Wilson, “The White House Project” and “Closing the Leadership Gap”

    Martha Burk, "The Cult of Power" on gender discrimination at the top level of corporate organizations; most recently re: the Augusta National Golf Club's discrimination against women.

    All of the women reporters of the Wall Street Journal, including – but not limited to -- Karen Eliot House, editor; Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ staff reporter and columnist, WORK & FAMILY; Sharon Begley, WSJ staff reporter and columnist, SCIENCE JOURNAL; Gwendolyn Bounds, WSJ staff reporter and columnist, ENTERPRISE; Carol Hymowitz, WSJ columnist, IN THE LEAD, who with (I'll remember in a moment) coined the phrase "glass ceiling"; Joann Lubin and a host of others

    Anna Fels, author of “Necessary Dreams”
    Susan Scott, author of “Fierce Conversations”.

    Pat Heim and Susan Murphy – co-authors of “In The Company of Women: Indirect Aggression Among Women: Why We Hurt Each Other and How to Stop”

    Judith B. Rosener, Professor, UC Irvine School of Management, author, “America’s Competitive Secret: Women Managers”

    Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor, Harvard School of Business; author, “Men and Women of the Corporation” and “World Class: Thriving Locally in the Global Economy”

    Pauline Lyttle, leadership and workplace collaborative consultant, co-author with the late Jinx Melia of “Why Jenny Can’t Lead”

    Gale Evans, CNN’s first Executive VP, author of “She Wins, You Win: The Most Important Rule Every Businesswoman Needs to Know” and Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman : What Men Know About Success that Women Need to Learn “

    Natalie Angier, author, 1999, “Woman: An Intimate Geography”. A manifesto for the "gender is a social construction" school of feminism.

    Rebecca Rimel, President of the PEW Charitable Trusts and Stephanie Bair, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst -- directors with Carol Loomis, Editor, Fortune on the Investor Education Plan board

    Judith Warner – author, “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety”, also the author of a range of nonfiction books, among them “You Have the Power: How to Take Back Our Country and Restore Democracy in America” (with Howard Dean) and the biography “Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story”. A former special correspondent for Newsweek in Paris, she reviews books for The Washington Post and has written about politics and women’s issues for magazines including The New Republic and Elle.

    Frances Anderton, radio journalist for KCRW in Los Angeles, host of "Design and Architecture" and producer of "Which Way LA?" hosted by Warren Olney

    Maureen Dowd, NY Times columnist
    Molly Ivins, journalist
    Marjorie Williams, columnist with The Washington Post
    Ellen Goodman, journalist
    Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times commentator
    Cathy A. Simpson: former ABC news commentor and now speaking to high school students about the public media
    Karen Jurgenson, editorial page editor, USA Today
    Amy Wilentz – journalist and author
    Ann Coulter, scathing anti-liberal

    I’m still checking out these others and welcome your input:

    Linda Chavez
    Laura Ingraham
    Suzanne Scott
    Barbara Howar
    Joan Juliet Buck
    Sandra Tsing Loh
    Carol Leib
    Carol Ann Leif
    Tammy Bruce
    Kimberle Crenshaw
    Vilma Martinez
    Carrie Fisher
    Arianne Huffington
    Stephanie Miller
    Aileen Adams
    Sheila Rowbotham
    Nancy Fredericks
    Lois P. Frankel
    Charlotte Allen

    And, yes, Camilia Paglia, professor for the humanities at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, author of “Sexual Personae”. First published by Yale University in 1990.

    And, Gloria Steinem – too many to record here, but at least “Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem”