Women at the Table: Realities, Roadblocks and Strategies for Earning Seats on Corporate Boards

April 26, 2011
Event location: 

The New York Times

Women hold only 17% of the seats on corporate boards in America today. Will that number change?

This fascinating two-hour panel (followed by a high-powered networking reception) focused on women and boardrooms. Among the topics: skill-sets needed to qualify for board seats, strategies that might help earn a spot, the pros and cons of public (corporate) boards versus private (startup) boards, and insights into board culture.

The event was a fundraiser for The New York Women in Communications Foundation.

Moderator:
Jean ChatzkyJean Chatzky,
award-winning journalist and best-selling author, is the financial editor for NBC’s Today, a contributing editor for More Magazine, and a columnist for The New York Daily News.  She blogs daily at www.jeanchatzky.com.

Jean is the author of seven books, including her newest, Not Your Parents’ Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Your Own Money, and recent release, Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved, a New York Times best seller. She is also the author of The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times and best sellers Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 A Day (New York Times and Business Week best seller) and Make Money, Not Excuses (Wall Street Journal and New York Times best seller).

In 2010, Jean was honored with the Books for a Better Life award for her book The Difference, and in 2009, the Consumer Federation of America awarded Jean the Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award for her nearly two decades of pioneering personal finance education.  She has also received the Clarion Award from Women in Communications, a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television, Inc., and was named one of the best magazine columnists in the country by the Chicago Tribune. 

Jean lives with her family in Westchester, NY.
 

Panelists:
Ellen R. MarramEllen R. Marram, President, The Barnegat Group
Ellen Marram is a member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company, The New York Times Company and Eli Lilly and Company, as well as several private companies in the food and consumer healthcare sectors. She is a member of the Health Executives Leadership Network and serves on a number of non-profit boards including NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, The Institute for the Future, Lincoln Center Theater, and Families and Work Institute. In addition, she is a trustee of Wellesley College.

From 2000 to 2005, she was a partner in a private equity firm that invested in healthy living and aging and was a chairman of several of their portfolio companies. From 1993 to 1998, she served as president and chief executive officer of Tropicana and the Tropicana Beverage Group, where she nearly doubled margins as she transformed Tropicana from a Florida juice company to a market driven, health-focused, global juice business, number one in worldwide sales and profits. From 1988-93, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nabisco Biscuit Company, the largest operating unit of Nabisco, Inc., where her vision and direction led to the 1992 launch of SnackWell cookies and crackers, considered one of the most successful new products of the '90s.

Susan LyneSusan Lyne, Chairman, Gilt Groupe
Susan Lyne serves as Chairman of Gilt Groupe, a membership-only apparel and accessories business with over three million members, 500 employees six distinct business lines in the US, as well as being the leading flash sale site in Japan.

From November 2004 to July 2008, Susan was President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO). In that capacity, she steered the company’s recovery and return to profitability, led by a three-fold increase in advertising revenue and the diversification of its merchandising business.

Before joining MSLO, Susan spent eight years at Disney/ABC, rising to President of ABC Entertainment where she oversaw the development of shows such as Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy. Prior to that she ran the network’s long-form division, fielding a schedule of original movies and miniseries that won time periods and earned numerous awards.

She serves on the board of AOL and is a trustee of The New School. She won a 2007 Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications.

Meesha RosaMeesha Rosa, Director, Corporate Board Services and Marketing Operations
Catalyst.org Meesha Rosa coordinates communications with corporate board
governance organizations and associations in conjunction with Catalyst’s
Corporate Board Services, which focuses on the advancement of women into
the corporate boardroom through candidate assessment and preparation.

In addition, Meesha manages the day-to-day operations of Catalyst’s Marketing
Department. Through her work as an issue specialist, she speaks at numerous events around the
country about Catalyst’s Censuses of Women Board Directors and Corporate Officers andTop
Earners of the Fortune 500.


Andy SherwoodAndrew Sherwood, Managing Director, Goodrich and Sherwood
In addition to being Managing Director, Andrew was a founding partner of Goodrich & Sherwood in 1970. As a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Andy's 30-year senior level executive search and consulting background covers a wide range, spanning most industries.

He headed the Business Task Force for the Reagan and Bush White House and has served as a Congressional Advisor. Listed in Who's Who in Finance and Industry, and Who's Who in the World, Andy's professional affiliations include the Young Presidents' Organization, where he was chapter chairman, the World Presidents' Organization, and the Chief Executive Organization.

In 1990, and each year since, Andy has been elected to the top 100 Executive Search Consultants in the United States. He is an honors graduate from Nichols College where he has served as a Trustee and head of the Executive Committee. He majored in management at Farleigh Dickinson University Graduate School of Business and the Harvard Business School CEO program.

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