Women in Technology: Corporate Boards in Washington, D.C. and Virginia Lack Women Representation
Mar 03, 2011 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) --
Women in Technology (WITSM), an organization contributing to the success of professional women in the Washington, D.C.-area technology community, has announced the release of commissioned research conducted by American University's Kogod School of Business titled "Women Board Directors in Virginia and Washington, D.C."
The report highlights the under representation of women board members at local, public-traded companies, the group noted.
The 2010 research report includes in-depth analysis of women board members from 172 publicly-traded companies headquartered in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Although the lack of women serving on corporate boards is a prominent issue nationwide, statistics show that the amount of women board members at local companies is significantly low. WIT reported that some of the key findings include:
-Women hold 101 of the 1318 board seats from 160 Virginia-based public companies; 14 of 109 board seats from 12 Washington, D.C.-based public companies.
-Nearly 52 percent of companies in Washington, D.C. and Virginia have no women serving on corporate boards.
-97 percent of these companies do not achieve the "critical mass" of three or more women board members.
Based on these findings, the group said that it would launch "The Leadership Foundry," a new program designed to help women leaders serve on corporate boards. Beginning in March, senior women executives will have the opportunity to be a part of this initiative that provides intensive board training sessions that prepare women to serve on Board.
"Women leaders should collectively make an effort to actively seek and accept board positions to contribute their knowledge and experience, build personal brand and enhance their careers," said Nanci Schimizzi, president, WIT. "Through The Leadership Foundry we plan to create a strong awareness of the lack of women's representation on corporate boards, encourage local organizations to support board diversity, as well as prepare more women for their first board service."
The research was conducted by Susanne Barakat and Julie Bloecher, M.B.A. students at American University's Kogod School of Business, under the guidance of faculty research sponsor, Jill A. Klein, executive in residence at Kogod.
"Diversity defines the workplace of the 21st century," said Klein. "Women, a vital element in this diverse workplace, represent one of the largest, untapped corporate resource at all levels, including on the Board. We hope this research will help expand women's roles at all levels of an organization."
While this report only includes Washington, D.C. and Virginia companies, WIT reported that a separate report is available on the number of women on public-company boards headquartered in Maryland, which is conducted by Network 2000. Network 2000 is a Maryland-based organization that seeks to place women on corporate boards and educate the public on the benefits of having women in decision-making positions.
American University's Kogod School of Business is a business school in Washington, D.C. that provides an interdisciplinary business education. Kogod offers market-driven undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Women in Technology (WIT) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of advancing women in technology - from the classroom to the boardroom - by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring and technology education.
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