One woman on a board is a token. Two is a presence. Three is a voice. Four is power. ~Halle Tecco
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Boards
6 women VCs on why #changetheratio matters:
Tweeted here: https://twitter.com/wienbar/status/581577073950507008
Thanks for stashing this. There was an interesting article in HBR way back in 2006 on the optimal number of women on boards and why which stuck with me.
Here's an excerpt:
>>>Solo women on boards often feel isolated and marginalized. When they are effective, it’s not because of but in spite of being the only woman. Adding a second woman to a board helps reduce the sense of isolation, but it doesn’t always cause change and may create its own difficulties. Two women may be perceived as a separate group and may find they have to be careful not to appear to be conspiring. What’s more, they may not be distinguished from each other. One woman we spoke to explained, “I raised a question at a board meeting that caused the board to take some important action. Later on, the chairman thanked the other woman on the board for raising the question. No one said anything to correct him.”
A clear shift occurs when boards have three or more women. At that critical mass, our research shows, women tend to be regarded by other board members not as “female directors” but simply as directors, and they don’t report being isolated or ignored. Three women or more can also change the dynamic on an average-size board. As one woman director said, “The competition to get your voice heard is over. It’s a supportive dynamic—less combative, more collaborative. You can see the guys decompress from their normal very aggressive style.” <<<
That's a very relevant passage! Thank you Beth for sharing it.
I think it's one of the great shortcomings of the tech industry that we have so few women on our Boards. It's even worse for tech startups -- many of them have ZERO women on their Boards: