Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quiet Women

Have you noticed that women typically do not have input on debates? At least they don’t have as much to say as men do. Put a topic out on a blog on the Internet, and you’ll find men attracted to comment like bees swarming around a hive -– whether or not they have competence in the subject area. Just a few women will dare to swing by and opine, often surreptitiously signing themselves anonymously.

On the other hand, the exceptions that prove this rule would be Ann Coulter who dives -– zinger first -– toward the liberal jugular. Arianna Huffington barges in with her barbs bared for the conservatives among us. Maureen Dowd really just likes to shake the hive up to hear the buzz.

I do so miss Molly Ivins and Ann Richards whose dulcet tones stung with such sweetness and levity. Now, those were classy ladies.

But, why, prithee don’t women just debate the issues like civil, intelligent beings? Not all issues are causes or religious or moral outrages. Some issues are simply differences of perspectives on the same set of facts. And sometimes we might actually learn a little by listening to what other views on the same set of data might have to offer us. And wouldn’t it be a pleasant change of affairs to hear what intelligent women might have to say on a subject when they’ve actually thought about it?

For example, I recently emailed a number of business economics professors/professionals with a copy of my chicken-egg question: what comes first, increases in the number of women executives or increases in corporate profits. Getting women to respond has been like pulling teeth. Getting guys to answer has been overwhelmingly easy. The replies received were very insightful. More opinions will be solicited, to keep the intellectual dialog going.

1. A variation on the second hypothesis (that increase revenues attracted more women and increased the number of female leaders in the pipeline) was suggested to me by Professor Claudia Goldin of Harvard University:

Hypothesis 2a: Why not a hypothesis that there is an income (or wealth) elasticity of demand for diversity?

This hypothesis would say the demand for women might be a function of how well the corporation is doing or is expected to do. As income or wealth of a corporation increases, we might expect some increase in the corporation's demand for diversity. Thus, more “women" would be hired and promoted, and women would constitute a larger percentage of the total workforce compared to beforehand.

Would that imply that diversity doesn't happen until or unless corporations were above average earners?

2. Something of an inverted way of looking at the same thing was suggested by another professor who suggested that companies which fail to bring women into leadership roles might be economically penalized.

Hypothesis 2b: Companies with smaller shares of women in leadership roles would be more likely to suffer economically in an open and competitive market.

“We would begin by assuming that we have a pool of candidates for executive positions, some women, and some men. The assumption is that both women and men are equally qualified by training, equally capable and equally endowed by nature. Now, if some companies are prejudiced and select only men, then they reduce their potential supply of qualified candidates, and this would mean they probably would have to pay higher wages or hire less qualified people at the same wage. In either case, assuming the firms are otherwise as efficient, the effect would be lower profitability.”

3. These hypotheses suggest we need to consider the question of timing. Do we have data that shows that when women come into leadership in a company, that measures of company success rise after those points in time?

“One way to test the hypothesis is to do a longitudinal study. I.e. similar companies (in a ‘before’ period) have only males and (in the ‘after’ periods) some companies hire women execs. The performance of the companies could then be studied over time, and both companies would be affected in performance by similar factors except that one has women in the "after" period and the other does not. To be sure this is a study that would be difficult to organize.”

Another challenge in testing this hypothesis is, how do you assure yourself that men and women have the same specific skills, talents, and capabilities required to perform at the top companies?

4. Professor Nan Langowitz of Babson College, another business economist in the field, is on sabbatical, but referred me to Constance Helfat et al's article in the November 2006 Academy of Management Perspectives on women in the pipeline.

See a summary of Helfat, et al. in an earlier blog entry, but the point was that even though corporations were aggressively hiring and promoting women, STILL they could not forecast substantive increases in the pool of females in leadership roles: “by 2016, still only a handful of women would be forecast to reach CEO levels.”

The reasons had more to do with the industry sectors and the staff vs. line types of job responsibilities that women were choosing.

5. Stephen J. Dubner, of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything fame,(William Morrow: 2005) mentioned a Susan (Shaffer) Solovay of Pomegranate Capital who had identified 250 female hedge fund managers and said that her "quantitative and qualitative" research "proves" that females outpaced the men's performance as hedge fund managers.

A write-up about her plan of work was cited in a UK business magazine. However, her research has not been published anywhere else.
(www.thebusiness.co.uk: “America to launch first hedge fund run solely by women” by Rupert Steiner 08/11/2006)

6. Claudia Goldin of Harvard also referred me to Justin Wolfers of The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania: “Diagnosing Discrimination: Stock Returns and CEO Gender” in the Journal of European Economic Association, May 2006, 4 (2-3):531-541 http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Papers/FemaleCEOs.pdf )

“A key question remains the extent to which [the under representation of women among senior management] reflects unobserved differences in productivity, preferences, prejudice of systematically biased beliefs about the ability of female managers.”

“Do female-headed firms consistently beat market expectations?”

“Specifically, if female-headed firms were systematically under-estimated, this would suggest that female-headed firms would outperform expectations, yielding excess returns. Examining data on S&P 1500 firms over the period 1992-2004, I find no systematic differences in returns to holding stock in female-headed firms, although this result reflects the weak statistical power of our test, rather than a strong inference that financial markets either do or do no under-estimate female CEOs.”

Wolfers’ findings are more soundly based than the other cited work: first, he covers a large number of firms (S&P 1500), over a longer period of time (1992-2004), and also examines the certainty of the data. He found weak predictability from his tests. There’s a lot going on around these two data points that is reducing our confidence in reaching conclusions with great certainty.

It’s a lot like some of the media coverage that John Allen Paulos describes in his book, A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (Anchor Books, Random House Inc.: 1995). Is the weight of NFL football players really a reliable predictor of team performance? Are the results of the Presidential Election really a reliable predictor of the stock market for the coming year?

6. Wolfers also cited some other interesting research by Theresa Welbourne on the subject of how well firms do after IPO’s, and specifically those with women managers.

Wall Street Likes Its Women: An Examination of Women in Top Management Teams of Initial Public Offerings, by Theresa Welbourne, a University of Michigan business professor of organizational behavior and human-resource management.

“[Theresa] Welbourne found that higher numbers of top women managers at such companies improve stock prices and earnings-per-share after the IPO. She originally examined 476 companies from their IPO’s in 1993 through yearend 1996. Data collected so far from IPO’s that took place in 1996, 1998, and 1999 show similar results.”

“Welbourne's findings emerged while she was doing a broader study on what makes a successful high-growth company. She became intrigued by the impact of women managers on corporate performance after she noticed an increased presence of women in the upper echelons of startups. In 1988, when she began her research, none of the 136 companies that went public had women in top positions. By 1993, 27% of the 535 companies that went through IPO’s had senior female execs. That jumped to 37% of the 898 companies that went public in 1996, 43% of the 508 IPO’s in 1999, and 45% of the 419 IPO’s in 2000.”

“Given that the maximum percentage of women on the top management team in the IPO sample is 86%, this means that firms benefiting from women on the top team are actually benefiting from diversity in the executive ranks.”

“. . . it is not women per se that make the difference; it is the ‘mix’ of women and men on the top management team that results in higher long-term firm performance.”

Again, I’d be enthusiastic if we could see these results extended with the same certainty and reliability over the period of the dot-com bust, 2000 through 2006. If companies with IPO’s and women continued to thrive in a down cycle as much as a cycle of “irrational exuberance”, perhaps we might have real proof and confidence about which came first: the girl or the gold.

So, our conclusions are all over the map, still. But, in any event, good input and feedback from both sides of the X-Y chromosome aisle, wouldn’t you agree?

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Chicken or the Egg?

Which comes first? Do increments of women to top executive positions or to directorships CAUSE improvements in corporate revenues? Profits? Share values?

Roy. D. Adler, Executive Director of the Glass Ceiling Research Center, studied 25 of the top companies between 1980 and 1998, using three different measures of profitability relative to the median of Fortune 500 companies (including profits as a percent of revenues, assets, and stockholders’ equity) and found a correlation between a higher number of women executives and better performance compared to the median firms.

In 2004, Catalyst Inc. examined 353 of the Fortune 500 firms in “The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity” and found a correlation between increased gender diversity at the highest levels and improved financial performance.

Now in 2007, The Women Executive Leadership, in their Florida Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers, found that “The companies with higher revenues tend to have more women directors.”

I am as enthusiastic as the next gal about the “good news” of women advancing to leadership, but I’m also concerned that if I don’t get the research right, somebody might want to retract my masters degree in management. So, I’m going to ask the questions that my terrific professors told me I probably should be asking whenever we look at data and try to ferret out causes, effects, and collateral statistical damage. They used to remind me about the adage: “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” I don’t know the source of that quote. All I know is that numbers can tell you pretty much anything you want to hear.

What does the data about women on boards and corporate revenues really tell us? And, after about 20 years of playing loose with these two sets of numbers, isn’t it about time we started to get the interpretations correct? Are we really posing the right questions? Do we understand what this data about women in leadership and corporate measures of success is telling us? What can the data tell us and what does it not tell us?

Let’s try to be explicit and state, unabashedly, the hypothesis that these three research studies would like you to believe they “proved”:

Hypothesis 1: Increments in the number of women in top management positions cause increases in measures of corporate success.

Choosing this hypothesis (and alleging that the data proves it) says that if a company promotes more women to leadership roles, then you could expect to benefit as a company. If that were a valid conclusion from the data, then why on earth would any company NOT go out and hire more women and promote them to top management? Only crazy companies would be daft enough NOT to act on the “evidence” proving that more women increased corporate measures of success, right?

Other things could be happening if you’re not careful about the data and didn’t quite understand the statistics involved. For example, you could accidentally have proven a completely different hypothesis:

Hypothesis 2: Increments in measures of corporate success attract more women which in turn produces more women candidates available for top management positions.

In this case, it is the corporate success that is the cause of more women in the pipeline, from which there are more women to select for top management or director roles. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: it might suggest that women are really good and smart about figuring out the great companies and getting hired by them. So, proving this hypothesis would suggest that women should follow the lead of other women in selecting top corporations, based on measures of corporate success. “Go for the rich companies, girls!”

There are also other things that could be happening that are different from any of the above hypotheses: the cause-effect relationship could be just background economic static.

Hypothesis 3: Increments in the number of women in top management positions AND measures of corporate success tend to happen in tandem and may tend to be associated with normal expansion of educational opportunities in the economy and/or corporate growth and/or global trade rather than one side of the equation explicitly causing a change in the other.

It is not enough to say that “a correlation exists.” It’s certainly not good enough for a company or a female executive to bank the future on. Statistically, we should be able to prove that we understand the direction and the certainty of the relationship, based on sufficiently sound evidence and data, so that we could forecast some future increase in the “effect” side of the cause-effect relationship. If we are not willing to document the true nature of the correlation sufficiently to test it using forecasts, then perhaps we should not be willing to state that “a correlation exists.”

We might have to conclude that only a spurious relationship or co-relationships exist: that we could not separate out the background static. Perhaps we need to do a lot more research and refine our analysis further.

How we would do a better study is a very interesting proposition. If we could have the right data, covering the right timeframes, in the appropriate measure of detail to do a very sound analysis of the cause-effect relationship between more women and higher measures of corporate success, what would it look like?

There certainly are enough talented women researchers in the business economics field to conduct this caliber of study. There certainly is enough data available on time-sensitive measures of corporate success. There is a large quantity of information on the number and timing of women added to corporate leadership.

So, what would a good study really look like? And why aren’t we testing the correlation direction for accuracy by forecasting when and how many women it would take to generate improvements in corporate measures of performance?

Finally, if it is an important research question for companies, why aren't we seeing more studies by the corporations who would benefit from "the good news" in addition to the nonprofit women's organizations?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Choices or Barriers?

Maureen Dowd asked whether women’s progress has stopped. The question needs to be considered in the 21st century perspective, not simply based on the 1970’s feminist dialogs.

The ‘70’s dialog focused on the creation of artificial “battles” – Whose fault is it? What holds women back? Why CAN’T women? Why HAVEN’T women? Posing questions in this manner creates a non-productive dialog. It sets up one-sided answers or solutions: “It’s all HIS fault.” “Or HER fault.” “Or the OUTTA BE A LAW.”

All these fights represent dead-end debates that alienate potential collaborators in the solutions or that create false expectations of solutions. But, they DO produce great, profitable copy for newspaper headlines and magazine articles.

We could learn a lot from Gail Sheehy’s now ancient book (1976) discussing Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life. She described how adults passing through each decade experience different perspectives, perceive risks differently and are willing to deal with life’s challenges differently. So, we should not be surprised that young girls in their 20s and 30s are looking passionately at their childbearing years, seeking advice and counsel from other women who have passed that way before. But, those young girls need to realize that their work-life balance equation in 2007 is based on a much different set of economic circumstances and cost-benefit equations than the prospective “role models” who experienced the 60s, 70s and 80s economic opportunities or lack thereof.

At the same time, women of experience have paid their dues and deserve some respect as women of achievement, yet they hear disparaging comments from the younger generation that their choices were “bad” and “unacceptable.” The backlash is more than a rejection of certain lifestyles -– it also tends to carry with it disparaging comments that show disregard for the very difficult paths our role model women pursued. That is not as it should be, if we want to learn from these women.

Maureen Dowd bemoaned the “nanosecond feminist revolution.” Just because there are no women out there, today, burning bras, screaming and yelling in the halls does not mean there are not women doing battle in their own personal trenches. What has changed is that women are realizing they are individual actors on this stage, not “girl gangs” or “sorority sisters” because there are many more women out there doing many more unique things. We can no longer paint ALL WOMEN with the same brush: EACH WOMAN is what is important in today’s economy.

Women as individuals are competing, working and doing incredibly successful good work throughout our corporations and elsewhere. Yet, again, women too often speak disparagingly about “only” some percentage on boards or as CEOs; we bemoan the salary differentials; we fail to give credit to the dramatic increases and improvements that women have achieved. Educational accomplishments by women are at record levels. Women are being added to boards at incredible rates. Women in science and math are in key positions at universities and on major technology boards and at journals.

Yet, we continue to focus on failures. Misery loves company. It reminds me of Munchausen's syndrome where a patient feigns illness to gain the attention that goes with the sick role. When women present “symptoms” of economic abuse, in the form of all of the ills perpetrated on them by men, by other women, or by society, they point to everyone else to “cure” their illness rather than take responsibility for their own lives and live with the consequences of their own choices.

Among women, it’s also called “Trouble Talk,” the sharing of intimate experiences among women, typically negative, with the goal of eliciting sympathy and comfort. It also reminds me of the Wallenda-effect: when the family leader of the great high-wire act started to focus on the ground instead of the wire across the way, he fell to his death.

How are women “solving” these problems? Many ways. Some women are beating back the “women only volunteer myth” and insisting on being paid fair value – not just by men, but also by other women in business who owe them reasonable compensation for the work they produce: both intellectual and productive. Other women are choosing “value rich” economic sectors for their enterprises, not simply the nails and hair and body piercing business models. More women are realizing they need to delegate better and hire more workers if they want their businesses to grow successfully. Some women are finally building boards of their own and listening when their advisers tell them their strategy needs reworking. Many women are re-negotiating the contract with family, first, not just rely on the promise of “benies and perks” from their corporate partnerships.

Much change has happened. Much is left to do. We will not wait for some superstar model, some billionaire TV personality or even a first female president. It will be done one woman at a time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Pipeline to the Top

Constance E. Helfat [1] of Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and Dawn Harris of Loyola University Chicago constructed a large and comprehensive census of top executives at U.S. Fortune 1000 firms as of the year 2000. Among 9,950 individual executives at the top 5 executive levels, only 8.25% (821) were women (with 942 firms out of 1000 reporting).

Yet, according to Helfat et al., “The representation of women in top management appears to reflect aggressive promotion and hiring of women specifically.” So, it appears that companies ARE doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

This research tells us that women executives are 5 ½ years younger than their male peers and take 2 ½ years less time to get to the executive ranks. That should suggest that modern female executives are quickly moving up the corporate ladder.

Yet, in spite of efforts on the part of corporations, there is still only a small absolute number of women among executive ranks and women represent a small percentage of CEOs. Even using the most positive forecasting factors, Helfat et al. forecast that “the percentage of CEOs that are women is likely to remain relatively low.”

Why would that be the case? Because, according to this research, women still tend to concentrate in staff or support positions, cluster at executive levels just below the top and work more in service-oriented industries. That contrasts with their male peers who concentrate in line or operational positions and work in product industries or financial sectors from which CEOs more often are drawn.

Companies seem to be hiring and promoting, but women still aren’t moving into leadership positions at a fast enough clip. “Getting more qualified women into the executive hierarchy remains a critical priority.”

But what are the authors' recommendations for getting more and qualified women?

1. provide developmental experience for lower-level female managers
2. develop the careers of women through:
a. mentoring (formal and informal)
b. develop and use women’s networks (inside and outside organizations)
c. create and implement leadership development programs for women

Once again it is a case of “the solution is for the companies to do more” or “the solution is for others to help women more.” When will we start saying “the solution is for WOMEN to take more responsibility for their OWN career advancement to leadership levels?”

In order for low-level female managers to get more developmental experience, women must pursue and accept positions in operations and finance that will expose them to the “basics of how to do real business,” not just try to help everyone else to be happy. Women have to stop favoring the soft jobs in services and customer care and be willing to accept the more challenging roles in operations, control, distribution, logistics, finance and techology. Those are the areas where we do, today, find the few successful women in leadership.

Women need to also stop hoping that “someone else will help me succeed.” Women need to be ready to stand on their own instead of waiting for some dea ex machina mentor to save them and to give them all the answers. Women are spending a great deal of time searching for the “other successful women or men” who will mentor them. Most of the successful women in leadership today built their own collaborative teams out of professional relationships where THEY added value and competence that OTHERS saw would benefit them.

Women’s networks, both inside and outside of corporations, are too often simply collections of other middle management women looking for the same solutions and not progressing to the top. The female leaders who did make it to the top in corporate America today are those who excelled at some skill or competence, not merely women who joined the herd and stayed at the middle.

Leadership programs abound if women would only take advantage of them. If women have ownership/control over 88% of the dollars spent on consumption, today, why are not women diverting a portion of that wealth into their own personal executive career development? Into their own advanced education? That is exactly what women of achievement have done -– constantly investing in their own education and excellence, based on what would enhance their contributions to the corporation.

Women tend to get over-involved and over-invested in their own middle management careers, often to excess. Women can get obsessively involved in other personal commitments so that they have no flexibility or time left to pursue the executive education required of leadership. Women of achievement have demonstrated the capacity to multi-task, to view their challenges with perspective, to delegate, and to collaborate in order to create a work world in which they can thrive.

Helfat et al. have done an impressive research survey. It’s unfortunate that they came back to the very same conclusions as a whole host of other researchers looking at the underrepresentation of women in leadership, and said, “It’s all HIS fault!”

----------------------------

[1] “The Pipeline to the Top: Women and Men in the Top Executive Ranks of U.S. Corporations” by Constance E. Helfat, Dawn Harris, and Paul J. Wolfson in Volume 20, Number 4 November 2006, Academy of Management Perspectives.

Constance E. Helfat, the J. Brian Quinn Professor in Technology and Strategy at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Dawn Harris, associate professor of management and assistant provost and director of the Office of International Programs, Loyola University Chicago
Paul J. Wolfson, Statistical Research Associate at Tuck School of Busin

Sunday, March 4, 2007

I’m Just NOT ‘Like Them’

At a recent breakfast with a friend, she responded cordially but coolly to my email and press release announcing publication of my “How Women Directors Succeed” article in THE CORPORATE BOARD journal.

“I’m just not ‘like them’” she demurred, suggesting that she did not believe she was a candidate for a corporate director role in the foreseeable future. I’d heard that response from several of my talented, competent female professional and business associates. A majority of them, I might venture to say.

These friends were sharing with me their belief that they could not currently conceive of themselves as a female corporate director, that the idea was just so distant from their contemporary imagination and view of themselves, and that they were struggling so hard – today – just to keep their heads above water.

So, we spent most of the breakfast hour talking about that struggle and how she was coping, which was incredibly well. The specific details of all the things she had to juggle are not important. Most women (and men) are doing likewise, to varying degrees, coping with their individual personal demons. Her challenges are significantly larger than most, which was why we wanted to get together with her -– to shore up her beams, to show her how confident we are of her ability to endure this particular set of near-overwhelming demands.

Soon it was almost time to go. Then she told us about a new position that might be opening up downtown. She’d mentioned to the manager in charge of that posting that “she would be interested in the challenge.” It was attractive to her because it would mean a chance to start something from scratch, to build something from the beginning. The risks were huge, but so were the opportunities for success.

She described the look on the face of her manager as exactly as surprised as the ones we wore this morning. She had told him that she thought she could do it and that it would be an interesting challenge. He was enthusiastic. So too was her own manager when she discussed the possibility with him later on. He was equally surprised, but also very supportive. If she thought she was ready for the challenge, both of them would see what they could do to help it happen.

I thought to myself, “This is exactly how the women who serve on today’s boards of directors began their journey.”

The women who serve on boards, today, took one small stretching assignment at a time, way back then, when they were just starting out. Just like my friend did today. They were willing to consider trying something a little bigger, a little more challenging, a little more interesting, and a lot more exciting when they succeeded. This is how they won the support and encouragement of other people, often men, who occupied the positions from which they could help these women succeed.

Just like my friend. Because she, first, performed exceedingly well at her current level of responsibility, she made it easy for them to take the chance on recommending her to the next level of opportunity. It wasn’t preferences or entitlements. She had earned their respect.

The demands that she faced today, the personal challenges, would be wrapped together with all of the other decisions that she was making. Her choices, like the decision to reach for something bigger, better, and more personally satisfying, would become the collection of experiences that will more than qualify her to accept positions of leadership in the next 10 to 20 years and more.

I thought to myself, “You’re in great company -– you are EXACTLY like those other ‘outstanding’ women.”

Friday, March 2, 2007

Women Choose One of Six Career Paths Into The Corporate Boardroom

PRESS RELEASE

Women Choose One of Six Career Paths Into The Corporate Boardroom:
Research on “How Women Directors Succeed” Debunks ‘Old Wives’ Tales’

SANTA MONICA, CA (March 1, 2007) – Women in leadership at California-based Fortune 1000 firms chose from among 6 possible paths to enter the corporate boardroom according to an article entitled “How Women Directors Succeed” in the March/April 2007 issue of THE CORPORATE BOARD. The article, written by Elizabeth Ghaffari, founder of Champion Boards®, a service of Technology Place Inc., is based on her study of the 114 women directors at California-based Fortune 1000 firms.

Ms. Ghaffari reports that the least likely paths into today’s corporate boardroom were the nonprofit, academic, and government career tracks. In contrast to the “shared beliefs” among women on board advocates, the current reality is that “The corporate ladder is the most likely path to the boardroom” (42%). “Almost nine out of every ten of the women studied chose to stay on the corporate path and also gain extra experience, either from the investment/securities path or from the entrepreneurial path.”

“We identified the 6 paths based on analysis of the biographies reported in annual proxy statements. We expanded that information with other online research about their experience, education, and career development. And, we are interviewing selected women directors representing each path, to understand the value and competence they bring to their board roles and to learn more about their highly diverse and complex careers.”

“Taken together, these talented women represent a complete picture of achievement and accomplishment which is, in fact, what qualified them to be chosen to serve on corporate boards, today. They are ‘outstanding’ women because of the contributions they made and continue to make in every sector of the economy where they are working. “

THE CORPORATE BOARD
March/April 2007 -- Vol. XXVIII No. 163
How Women Directors Succeed by Elizabeth Ghaffari
The most popular advice for women gaining a board seat is dead wrong.
Few governance topics are as hotly debated as improving the representation of women in corporate boardrooms. The author finds that this subject also suffers from misconceptions and misunderstandings that do not stand up to the statistics. For starters, the route into the boardroom that we most often encourage for women turns out to be one of the least effective.

“THE CORPORATE BOARD, now in its 28th year, is the nation's leading journal of corporate governance, providing directors and senior officers with information vital to the efficiency and success of their governance actions.”

Copies of the article are available from the Champion Boards® web site: www.championboards.com. If other publications wish to reprint the article, THE CORPORATE BOARD requests that they be given advance notice and proper credit as the source of the article. THE CORPORATE BOARD will provide verbal or written reprint permission upon request to:

Judy Scheidt, President and COO of THE CORPORATE BOARD
4440 Hagadorn Rd, Okemos, MI 48864-2414; telephone: 800-757-0667


Champion Boards® is a service of Technology Place Inc., providing the knowledge and information women need to prepare themselves for leadership.

Contact:
Elizabeth Ghaffari, Founder,
Champion Boards®, is a service of Technology Place Inc.,
2807 Highland Avenue - Suite 5
Santa Monica, CA 90405;
tel: (310) 396-9863
eg@ChampionBoards.com
www.championboards.com

###