A recent study by Washington-based Corporate Women Directors International shows the impact of quotas on increasing the diversity of company boards in Europe.
A new report from Ernst & Young, published this week, brings together a wide range of data and adds new insight into the potential of women in Africa to boost economic growth, increase levels of education and improve standards of governance in public life.
It is not the first time that the diversity debate has moved from the executive to the owners of the UK’s largest companies, but this week’s launch of an investor action group adds muscle to that discussion.
To an outsider Germany might seem like a place where women could easily fill high-powered positions, writes Rebeka Shaid. After all, the country is governed by chancellor Angela Merkel, who Forbes recently crowned “the world’s most powerful woman”. Yet last year the German Institute for Economic Research found that over 90 per cent of the nation’s top-100 companies did not appoint one single woman to an executive positions. How can this be?
On October 12, the Financial Times published the next Women at the Top page as part of its flagship project on female business leadership.
Kristin Forbes has experience at the top of two professions: academia and policy. She is a tenured professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and used to serve as a member of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she was the youngest person to ever hold that position. The mother of three has also recently been honoured as a “Young Global Leader” as part of the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Meg Whitman, who was appointed chief executive of Hewlett-Packard on 22 September 2011, last week announced that she would be drawing a salary of only $1. Her severance package, meanwhile, is just $1.50. Contrast this with outgoing boss Leo Apotheker’s severance package, which is estimated at $13.5m. This is a man who has presided over a fall of 46 per cent – worth about $40bn – in his company’s share value during his 11-month tenure.
Apart from the kingdom of Brunei where no one has the vote, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banned from the polling booth.
Social democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt has become Denmark’s first woman prime minister, bringing the total number of female world leaders to 21.
The appointment of the leader of the left-of-centre party ends ten years of centre-right political leadership in the country.
Bess Truman once famously quipped that her job as first lady entailed little more than sitting “quietly on the podium next to her husband” and making sure “her hat was on straight”.
Times are different, of course, and while the position of first lady comes with no pay and no official responsibilities in most countries, a new fellowship programme developed by the Rand Corporation, the non-for-profit research organisation, is trying to change that. The programme, which is held at Rand’s office in Arlington, Virginia, aims to help African first ladies and their staff develop analysis skills that will enable them to exert a bigger role in health and social policy across the continent.