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The Genesis of Sit At The Table

Research indicates that 3 or more women on corporate boards has a positive effect on a company’s bottom line — as much as 42% actually. Yet, 96% of Canadian CEOs oppose the idea of quotas. Quota or no quota, we’re here to help by connecting women with the resources and people they need to be even more successful on corporate boards and in the executive C-suite.

It’s time for more “qualified” women to sit at the table…the boardroom table. Men need to be part of this change as they hold the lock traditionally. more

Welcome! What are you doing to bring more qualified women to corporate boards, advisory boards and executive C-suite?

SATT is the evolution of a compelling TED speech by Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have So Few Women Leaders” -Mashable Dec 2010 [video] plus the passion of many to see more qualified women at the top of corporations in Canada. SATT works alongside like organizations globally.

Companies Profit 42% More
“Companies with more women on their boards outperform rivals, with a 42% higher return on sales, 66% higher return on invested capital, 53% greater return on equity.” -The Davies Review and Mindful Money Jul 2011 more

“The source of all life and knowledge is in man and woman, and the source of all living is in the interchange and the meeting and mingling of these two: man-life and woman-life, man-knowledge and woman-knowledge, man-being and woman-being.” ~D. H. Lawrence

Surprising Developments in the Gender Gap

“Women now represent nearly half (47%) of the labour force in both Canada and the U.S., compared to only 35% in 1965 (U.S. data). Yet, women represent only 3% of the Fortune 500 CEOs, 10% of corporate boards in Canada, 16% of such boards in the U.S. and roughly 15%-to-18% of corporate executives. Women still earn between 10% and 30% less than men for the same work. But that is better than the 48% income gap in 1970. Women have made great strides; however, in the corporate world there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality.” -BMO Harris Bank, October 2012 more

Women on Boards Lord Davies has launched his independent review
“This is not about aiming for a specific figure and is not just about promoting equal opportunities but it is about improving business performance. There is growing evidence to show that diverse boards are better boards, delivering financial out performance and stock market growth.” -BIS Department for Business Innovation & Skills, Feb 2011 more

Canada is Behind the Rest of the World

Other countries have passed new legislation (or are in the process of doing so) to bring more women on boards. That’s one alternative and is working for France, however, it may not be the answer for Canada according to the Globe and Mail article below — and yet, the pendulum appears to be swinging in the direction in favor of quotas elsewhere.

Have you seen the latest stats for Canada?

The articles below explain why we must work together to help move progress along. Meanwhile, we’ll continue doing what we can to help. SATT is here to inform, encourage, connect and promote more women on corporate boards and in the executive C-suite.

The Challenge

“March offers a great deal to celebrate. Today marks International Women’s Day, Catalyst’s 50th Anniversary Celebration is only weeks away and it’s National Women’s History Month in the US. But while these occasions warrant applause, don’t strike up the band just yet.

Early this morning, Catalyst released the 2011 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors showing that women currently hold just 14.5 percent of board seats in FP500 companies, and 10.3 percent of board seats in public companies. Nearly 40 percent of FP500 companies—and more than 46 percent of public FP500 companies—have zero women on their boards.” -Catalyst Inc., Mar 2012 more

Directors’ group gives thumbs down to mandatory quotas for boards

“Canada’s Institute of Corporate Directors has rejected the idea of mandating quotas for women to beef up diversity on corporate boards, but is calling for companies to adopt voluntary measures to improve board membership.” -The Globe and Mail, Dec 2011 more

Workplaces missing out on valuable contributors

“There is a problem — still. According to Catalyst, a nonprofit working to expand opportunities for women in business, though women now make up almost 50% of the Canadian labour force and hold almost 40% of management roles, they are rarely CEOs of FP500 companies or at corporate boardroom tables. In fact, 45% of FP500 companies have no women directors.” -Financial Post, Dec 2011 more

2011 Women Executive Report Card

“According to the 2011 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and prior Catalyst Censuses, women have made no significant gains in the last year and are no further along the corporate ladder than they were six years ago:, Executive Officers and Top Earners

Women held 16.1% of board seats in 2011, compared to 15.7% in 2010

Less than one-fifth of companies had 25% or more women board directors. About one in ten companies had no women serving on their boards. Women of color still held only 3% of corporate board seats. Women held 14.1% of Executive Officer positions in 2011, compared to 14.4% in 2010. Women held only 7.5% of Executive Officer top-earner positions in 2011, while men accounted for 92.5% of top earners. Less than one in five companies had 25% or more women Executive Officers and more than one-quarter had zero. Another new Catalyst release, The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards (2004–2008), indicates that sustained gender diversity in the boardroom correlates with better corporate performance―and not by just a little.” -Business Exchange, Dec 2011 more

There’s a business case for more women in power, but it’s not the one you heard

96% of Canadian CEOs oppose the idea of a quota on the number of women on boards of directors, reports a recent poll. Ha! What a bunch of old fools. Does anybody think the views of power-clenching white males are enough to stop the movement to stack corporate boards with women and non-white males? Women certainly don’t think so. Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles found that 41% of female directors surveyed in 26 countries support the idea of quotas, compared to 13% of men.

Norway, Spain and France already have quotas in place, and agitation grows in Canada, where only 15% of Canadian board seats are held by women, a “disappointing” figure according to the Canadian Board Diversity Council. For the record, the council opposes quotas, but it wants change as do others. Deborah Gillis, head of the Canadian office of Catalyst, an international advocacy group for women in business, believes companies would be more successful if they had more women on boards. She also recently told the CBC that having more women on boards of directors points to “organizations having stronger financial performance.”” -Financial Post Magazine, Dec 2011 more

Why are Canadian Women Not Taking on More Leadership Roles?

How do women find out about new Director and Executive C-Suite opportunities when they become available? What are the alternatives to quotas for more Canadian women in these roles? Where can women find the personal sponsors, mentors, tools and programs they need?

The process to bring more women to Corporate Boards and the Executive C-Suite has been voluntary for many years in Canada — and progress, insignificant. A substantially greater effort by corporations, women and men is needed. There are a number of things you could be doing to help increase the ratio of qualified female:male Directors and C-Suite Execs.

Companies Need To

  • Commit to advancing gender balance through business leadership
  • Actively recruit more female talent at the top
  • Make it clear that they do not support violence and sexual harassment
  • Develop an environment that fosters work/family balance, public advocacy
  • Implement gender balance strategies like Woolworths, CBA, IBM, Deloitte
  • Measure their progress on an ongoing basis
Source: The Male Champions of Change (MCC) and 20-First

How Are Other Countries Doing?

  • United States – 15% of directors at (all) public companies were female and 66% of boards had at least one female director
  • France – the French National Assembly adopted a law in early 2010 that when voted will impose a 40% quote for women on boards of public companies
  • Norway – surpassed the legislated requirement that 40% of directors be women. Boards have 44% women directors. (when considering the top 23 listed companies that drops to 34.3%)
  • Sweden – 27%, Finland (26%) and Denmark (18%) – have grown the number of women on boards substantially since 2004

More women on boards? There aren’t enough who are qualified

“The UK’s leading headhunters say female workers have not been mentored and trained up to the right standard to fit with Lord Davies’ demands. At the start of the Coutts event last week, the majority of the 250 female business leaders attending voted against mandatory quotas. By the end of a lively debate, however, opinion had swung dramatically: some 70pc of women voted in favour. “It will take 100 years otherwise to see gender equality,” said one. -Louisa Peacock, The Telegraph, Oct 1 2011 more

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