Because boardrooms in private tech companies operate more like boys clubs (an estimated 78 percent have no women board members), theBoardlist launched an initiative last week to offer a solid solution to the lament that no good women were available for the open slot.
“Find and refer great women for company boards” is the rallying cry for the effort aiming to be “the leading talent marketplace globally” for women. To that end there are 40 active board searches in progress. Featured in Fortune, Wired and more, theBoardlist is the brainchild of Joyus founder Sukhinder Singh Cassidy.
“Our mission is to create the leading talent marketplace globally to connect thousands of great women leaders with thousands of great growth stage tech company board opportunities,” according to the site that has a roster of more than 1,000 qualified, female, board-ready candidates. Successful matches to date include Mauria Finley named to the Fossil Group, Inc. board of directors and Karla Martin, appointed to the board of Challenged.
This initiative bloomed from Cassidy’s May 2015 #choosepossibility effort to achieve “better performance through diversity.” Inviting members to become endorsers, candidates or searchers, the growing community hails A-list Silicon Valley corporate partners such as ebay plus individuals from Girls Who Code, Yelp, Google, Dropbox and scores more tech companies.
The paucity of women at the very top is an issue Take The Lead co-founder and president Gloria Feldt tackled recently in a panel she moderated at She Summit on paving a path to corporate leadership.
Across the pond, Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry said in a London speech that such inititaives are good start, but we need more women leaders, period. “We don’t have enough women running things and it is not getting better anything like fast enough.”
Nicky Morgan, women and equalities minister in the UK, says Britain companies have come a long way, moving from 12.5 percent representation of women on boards to 25 percent. The new push is for more women in executive and leadership positions at companies in the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) overall. According to Morgan, “Having more women on FTSE boards allows companies to benefit from the enormous wealth of talent they offer, and means these women can act as powerful role models for the next generation of girls.”