Women in Technology Research Exposes the Lack of Women Serving on Corporate Boards in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area

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Latest edition of report shows women hold only 10 percent of the total 2,115 board seats in the D.C. region.

Women in Technology (WIT), the premier organization contributing to the success of professional women in the Washington, D.C.-area technology community, today announced the release of the second research report conducted by American University’s Kogod School of Business titled “Women Board Directors in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.” The report exposes the continuing void of women serving as board members at local, publicly traded companies in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The 2012 report expands on the 2010 report to include the state of Maryland and provides in-depth analysis of women board members from 224 publicly traded companies headquartered in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Some of the key findings include:

  •     Over 37 percent of companies in the region have no women serving on their boards
  •     Women hold only 10 percent of the total 2,115 public company board seats in the region
  •     For companies that have one woman director, these women represent only 10 percent of the total board composition for those organizations
  •     94 percent of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. companies do not achieve the “critical mass” of three or more women board members

These statistics reinforce the need for programs that help women prepare for roles on corporate boards and link them with companies striving to fill this void. Launched last year, WIT is once again offering The Leadership Foundry to help women leaders serve on corporate boards. Through The Leadership Foundry, senior women executives have the opportunity to be a part of a program that provides intensive board training sessions, access to the knowledge of a steering committee of industry leaders with extensive board experience, and networking with organizations looking to recruit board members.

The Leadership Foundry is guided by the steering committee of:
Leslie L. Armitage – Co-Founder of Relativity
Karen Kosiba Edwards – President of Kosiba Edwards Associates
Janet Hill – Principal of Hill Family Advisors
Bobbie Kilberg – President & CEO of Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)
Sheryl R Schwartz – Managing Partner, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Canopy
Toni Townes-Whitley – Vice President of CGI Group
Todd Stottlemyer – CEO of Acentia
“Corporations that do not have diversity on their boards risk having board perspectives that do not coincide with the diverse makeup of the various constituencies they are supposed to serve including employees, investors and consumers,” said Leslie Armitage, The Leadership Foundry steering committee and Co-Founder of Relativity.

The research was conducted by Lina Rojas and Meredith Kirchheimer at American University’s Kogod School of Business, under the guidance of faculty research sponsor, Jill Klein. The project was led by Julie Bloecher, The Leadership Foundry committee member, who provided direction and editorial supervision. All companies included in this report are listed on the major stock exchanges (NYSE and NASDAQ).

“The statistics show the truth – Washington metro area companies are missing the diversity of thought, creativity and potential financial benefit of having enough talented women on their boards,” said Nancy Lamberton, President, WIT. “Through The Leadership Foundry, we hope to raise awareness around this issue, advocate for more women on boards in our region and offer boardroom training skills and mentorship to women devoted to having a voice in the boardroom.”

For a copy of the 2012 report and for more information about The Leadership Foundry, visit: http://www.womenintechnology.org/career-development/leadership-foundry.

WIT and The Leadership Foundry are joining with Women on Boards 2020 to host a luncheon on December 12 (12/12/12) to discuss the report findings in more detail. The 12/12/12 campaign is an effort to get a national conversation on gender diversity in U.S. corporate boardrooms. Visit http://www.Womenintechnology.org for more details on the event in the coming weeks.

About Women in Technology
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. With nearly 1000 members in the Washington, D.C.-area, WIT strives to meet its vision of being the premier organization empowering women to be architects of change in the technology industry. For more information, please visit, http://www.womenintechnology.org or connect with us via: Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter (@WITWomen).

Media Contact:
Jayna Kliner
Welz & Weisel Communications
(for WIT)
703-218-3555 x102
Jayna(at)w2comm(dot)com

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