Monday, July 27, 2015

Thomas on Data Breach

We have read a bit about the legal consequences of corporate data hacks, but nobody covers this topic more thoroughly than Liisa M. Thomas, partner at the Chicago offices of Winston & Strawn LLP and Chair of the firm's Privacy and Data Security Practice.

Thomas has updated the first edition of her comprehensive legal guide, Thomas on Data Breach: A Practical Guide to Handling Data Breach Notifications Worldwide, 2015 ed., with the February 2015 release of this must-have reference. In the marketing brochure Thomson Reuters announced the availability of the new release at and offered a 20% promotional discount (promotional code WPD20) making the $249 tome available at just under $200. 

This resource provides a comprehensive legal guide and roadmap for corporations and boards:
  • evaluate what breach laws govern
  • identify what information may have been breached
  • determine if there was really a "breach"
  • analyze if n exception applies
  • determine who needs to be notified
  • draft the notice
  • figure out how and when to give notice
  • prepare a public relations strategy
  • create a plan for follow-up inquiries
  • take steps to stop another breach
Thomas has a unique "ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements" through her comprehensive analysis of U.S. Federal and state breach notification laws in addition to international requirements. There is no better compendium of prevailing requirements and no clearer guide to addressing this side of the cybersecurity challenge.

In addition to Thomson Reuters, the reference is available from

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Weber Shandwick Research

When asked, “Would you personally ever want to be CEO of a large company”

Women who said “No” to the question:

68 percent of North American women
39 percent of European women
22 percent of Asia Pacific women
17 percent of Latin American women

Women who said “Yes” to the question:

9 percent of North American executive women
22 percent of European women executives
27 percent of Asia Pacific women executives
34 percent of Latin American women executives.

Men who said “No” to the question:

51 percent of North American male
39 percent of European male executives
23 percent of Asia Pacific male executives
11 percent of Latin American male executives.

Men who said “Yes” to the question:

22 percent of North American executive men
25 percent of European executive men
37 percent of Asia Pacific executive men
46 percent of Latin American executive men.

Sponsored by Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public-relations firms, the survey was based on responses from 1,750 executives (excluding CEOs) who worked for companies with revenues of $500 million in 19 countries across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Globally, male executives represented 62 percent of the sample, and female executives 38 percent.

Reprinted in The Norman Transcript July 12, 2015, “Survey: Many women execs don't want to be large-company CEO” posted by Julie Jason

See also, additional insight from another Weber Shandwick survey:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Power of a Screen and a Carpet

Since the mid-1970s, musicians perform the preliminary auditions for available orchestra positions from behind a screen, so that gender and race are not obvious selection criteria. Auditioners walk on a long strip of carpet, so the clacking of women's high-heeled shoes wont give anything away. The result is merit hiring - talent rises to the opportunity.

Polly Kahn, vice president for learning and leadership development at the League of American Orchestras, says that change began in the 1960's and that at least as of 2013, about 50 percent of the league member orchestras, the countrys top 250 orchestras, have got 50 percent women, including executive directors and musicians. I think we are close to 50 percent (overall) at this point.

"In Orchestras, A Sea Change in Gender Proportions," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 30, 2014 by Sarah Bryan Miller

However, women are not represented equally across all instruments or sections of the top 20 orchestras. And there are just a few women directors and conductors - the true leadership positions.

"Graphing Gender in America's Top Orchestras," November 18, 2014 by Suby Raman

"Ethnic diversity remains a troublesome question for American orchestras. Just over four percent of their musicians are African-American and Latino, according to the League of American Orchestras, and when it comes to orchestra boards and CEOs, the numbers are even starker: only one percent. Ethnic diversity is also a rare sight among guest soloists and conductors."

"American Orchestras Grapple with a Lack of Diversity," WQXR Host February 06, 2015 by Brian Wise and Naomi Lewin

It would appear that, in order to accomplish the goal of greater diversity and inclusion in orchestras and their leadership, there needs to be objectivity enforced at the selection stage, but also a certain critical mass of talent in the pipeline, pushing for or demanding  opportunities to perform and to lead. Are these lessons pertinent to corporate boardrooms?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Lemonade Day

In my latest book, Tapping the Wisdom that Surrounds You:  Mentorship and Women (Praeger: 2014), I describe an early software product that was available on the Apple IIin the 1970s. It was called The Lemonade Stand, and it was an early enjoyable learning game that taught youngsters the basic concepts of business and economics.

Now, a mere 36 years later, we read in the NACD Directorship magazine about Lemonade Day,  "a program designed to teach business leadership skills to America's youth."

Today's Lemonade Day ( is the brainchild of Michael Holthouse, Co-Founder. Google for Entrepreneurs is one of the partners in Lemonade Day.

From the website:

"Lemonade Day is a strategic 14-step process that walks youth from a dream to a business plan, while teaching them the same principles required to start any big company. Inspiring kids to work hard and make a profit, they are also taught to spend some, save some and share some by giving back to their community. Since its launch in 2007 in Houston Texas, Lemonade Day has grown from serving 2,700 kids in one city to over 800,000 children across North America."

Since the 1970s, we have built an economy which undervalues the importance of essential economic considerations, such as the importance of earning a profit (making money) if we want to be able to invest money, or that business cannot "give everything away for free" and expect to survive. We have become dependent on the currency of advertising, rather than a belief that money is a valued currency.

If we want to see our economy grow again, if we want to see decent living wages, home ownership, investments in the future, then we need to rebuild our appreciation of basic business economics, using fundamental learning experiences such Lemonade Day.