“There is a heightened focus on diversity on boards and executive women ought to be more proactive in preparing and heightening our visibility as candidates.
Palm Springs, CA (PRWEB) June 12, 2015
Broadrooms announced today the launch of http://www.broadrooms.com, a comprehensive resource for executive women who serve or want to serve on boards of directors. Founder Gerri Elliott says the site remedies the lack of freely available information on the topic she encountered when she sought board roles following a long career in executive leadership at IBM, Microsoft and Juniper Networks.
Elliott hopes the site will help women equip themselves to obtain board seats, especially since 54% of Fortune 500 companies are actively looking for female board members. “There is a heightened focus on diversity on boards,” she said. “Not only should executive women be thinking about board service as a natural extension to our careers, we ought to be more proactive in preparing and heightening our visibility as candidates. Broadrooms is intended to help women do just that.”
Despite a multitude of studies detailing the positive impact board diversity has on the bottom line, women account for just eighteen percent of the board membership the Fortune 500 and just fifteen percent of the Fortune 1000.
A number of voluntary initiatives are aimed at closing the gap; still the percentage of US female board members has ticked up by a single point since 2011. Some European countries have mandated all corporate boards comprise 40% women by 2020. A recent study by Equilar found just seven Fortune 500 companies have female board representation of at least 40%. Five Fortune 500 companies and 139 Fortune 1000 companies had no women at all on their boards. According to Deloitte’s 2014 Board Practices report, just eighteen percent of companies added women to the board last year.
“At the current rate, it's going to take us 33 years to get to thirty percent. That’s a major milestone, but it's still not good enough when you consider that women make up over fifty percent of the workforce,” says Elliott. With roughly 27% of board seats likely to change hands in the next five years, she sees an opportunity for women to make a dent faster.
Fifty to seventy percent of board seats are filled through the networks of current board members. With so few women on boards, it’s difficult to gain entrée, an experience Elliott had first hand. She currently serves on the boards of Whirlpool, Bed Bath and Beyond and Charlotte Russe, after exhaustive research and an intensive outreach campaign. The site includes all of her research and best practices, as well as tips from other women board members, providing everything executive women need to launch themselves into board service.