Issue No. LXXVIV, November 19, 2010

 THIS ISSUE’S HIGHLIGHTS:

I.      2011 GLOBAL SUMMIT OF WOMEN - ISTANBUL, TURKEY
II.     US BANKS LAG BEHIND CHINA AND EUROPE IN APPOINTING WOMEN DIRECTORS
III.    THE BUSINESS CASE FOR WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP; ARE COMPANIES LISTENING?
IV.   BRAZIL’S NEW PRESIDENT: DILMA ROUSSEFF
V.   UPDATE ON QUOTAS FOR WOMEN DIRECTORS

 


Bosphorus Bridge -
Connection Europe and Asia 
 

Suzan Sabanci
Chair, Akbank

Irene Dorner
CEO, HSC USA
 








Top 5 Banks in Fortune Global 200 with Highest Percentage of Women Directors
 
China Construction Bank:
6/17 35.5%

Deutsche Bank: 6/20 30%

BNP Paribas: 5/17 29.4%

Wells Fargo: 4/15 26.7%
 
Credit Agricole: 5/21 23.8%








 

To order 2010
CWDI Report on
Accelerating Board
Diversity, go to: www.globewomen.org/CWDI/
order_form.htm













Brazil's New President - Dilma Rousseff








 
CWDI Chair Irene Natividad addressing the European Parliament on issue of quotas


 

 

 

 

 



 

 


I.   2011 GLOBAL SUMMIT OF WOMEN – ISTANBUL, TURKEY

       Known for its bridge which connects Europe and Asia, Istanbul will welcome delegates from around the world on May 5-7th for the 2011 Global Summit of Women . Now entering its 21st year, the Summit continues to be the premier international economic forum for women. Convening under the theme Women Bridging Solutions to the 21st Century participants will be sharing proven collaborative strategies that address challenges facing people worldwide .

     Turkey, the 2011 Host, is experiencing dynamic growth with trade expanding to European and Middle Eastern countries What is not known to many is that Turkey has a wealth of women who run major enterprises. Women head up major companies such as Akbank (the second largest bank in Turkey), and subsidiaries of multinational companies such as Intel, Novartis, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Vodafone, Credit Agricole, to name a few. The dean of Turkish women in business is Guler Sabanci, Chairperson of Sabanci Holding Company, who has appeared in Fortunes International Power 50 list of outstanding women business leaders. Equally important, there is a growing cadre of women entrepreneurs, mainly in the textile industry, but also from an ever-widening range of products and services.

     As in prior years, the Summit will be bringing together business leaders such as Susan Sabanci, Akbank's Chairman, Irene Dorner, CEO of HSBC USA, Anna Sienko, General Manager of IBM Poland, along with government leaders such as the 30+ women ministers who participate in a pre-Summit Ministerial Roundtable. To learn how to access business opportunities in the Host Country, the Summit offers a session on Doing Business with Turkey which will be led by Turkeys Minister of Finance, Mehmet Simsek, and Umit Boyner, the Chairman of Boyner Holding Company, who also Chairs Turkeys Chamber of Commerce, TUSIAD. (For more information , log on to www.globewomen.com)


II.        US BANKS LAG BEHIND CHINA AND EUROPE IN APPOINTING WOMEN DIRECTORS

     A Chinese bank and several European banks surpassed their American competitors in naming women to seats on their corporate boards. In a study released by Corporate Women Directors International, a research nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., five banks with the largest percentage of women on their boards were topped by China Construction Bank with 6 out of 17 directors begin women, or 35.3% of the board. 

     Equally remarkable, two of China Construction Banks six women directors are foreigners with impressive backgrounds: Jenny Shipley, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Elaine LaRoche, an American who served as CEO of Morgan Stanley China and Salisbury Pharmacy Group. Moreover, all four Chinese banks, which made it into the Fortune Global 200 listing, had an average female board representation of 19%, beating America's five largest banks average of 15.4% of board seats held by women.

     American banks are no longer pacesetters. At a time when many of them are working to restore their reputations, it would be to their advantage to expand women's presence on their boards, given that women make up the majority of their workers and form a significant customer base, states CWDI Chair Irene Natividad.

     Only one American bank--Wells Fargo, (26.7%)--made it to the top five with the highest percentage of women directors. Deutsche Bank ranked second after China Construction Bank with six women directors (30%), followed by two French banks BNP Paribas (29.4%) and Credit Agricole (23.8%). (For more on this report, log on to www.globewomen.org/cwdi/cwdi.htm)


III.    THE BUSINESS CASE FOR WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP; ARE COMPANIES LISTENING?

      In another report by Corporate Women Directors International on Accelerating Board Diversity Globally, one of the strategies identified as a powerful rationale for having more women on corporate boards is encapsulated in the business case the more women on boards and in senior management, the better is a company's financial performance. CWDI identified 21 reports spanning a decade from the US, Europe, Vietnam and Turkey, which all showed remarkably the same result no matter the number or size of companies covered within the study or the country an increase in return on assets, return on investment, or increase in share value or more intense financial oversight ensues, when there are more women at the top.

    There is clearly an overwhelming amount of research that proves this point over and over, states CWDI Chair Irene Natividad. Unfortunately, corporate leaders, have yet to act on it. The business case, while it may seem old to advocates and academics, is not as widely known or accepted by the private sector, she adds. (To order a copy of the report, log on to www.globewomen.org/CWDI/order_form.htm)

     This point was underscored in a study conducted by McKinsey and Company in its latest Women Matter study, based on a survey of 1,500 business leaders worldwide. They found that 62% of male corporate leaders and 90% of their female counterparts agreed with the argument that more women in leadership teams led to better financial returns. However, only 28% of those surveyed identified board diversity as a priority for their companies.

     The McKinsey report identified two major reasons for women's difficulties in accessing leadership roles within companies the age-old problem of work at home and work at work, and the culture of being available 24/7 for those on their way to the top. A third reason also emerged The reticence of many women to advocate for themselves. (Source: Financial Times, 10/16/10).


IV.     BRAZIL’S NEW PRESIDENT: DILMA ROUSSEFF

    Brazil welcomed its first woman president, Dilma Rousseff, in an election on October 21st. The former Minister of Energy and Chief of Staff to President Lula da Silva, Ms Rousseff was a former guerrilla fighter in her youth during Brazils long dictatorship. She is known as a tough manager whose nickname is Iron Lady , whose candidacy was propelled by her very popular predecessor, President da Silva.

     Ms. Rousseff's election brings to 10 the total number of women heads of state globally. Latin America now has three women in that role, Argentinas President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla, in addition to Brazils new President. Chiles former President, Michelle Bachelet, finished her term last year and is now head of the newly-established UN agency for women. (For more on women presidents and top government leaders, log on to www.globewomen.com)

     Brazil has seen dynamic growth within the last eight years, and it is projected to be the fifth largest economy in the world by the time of its hosting of the World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games. Former President da Silva is credited with this economic expansion and long period of stability that has lifted many from poverty and created a new middle class. (Source: aolnews.com, 11/1/10)


VI.    UPDATE ON QUOTAS FOR WOMEN DIRECTORS

      France’s Senate passed a quota bill mandating 40% of board seats to be allocated for women within an eight-year period. Following Norways example, Spain and Iceland enacted similar quota laws, of which Frances legislation is the latest. There are already quotas in place for women directors of government-owned companies in Israel, South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, as well as the cities of Berlin and Nuremberg. (See the 2010 Corporate Women Director International Report: Accelerating Board Diversity Globally for more on quotas).

     The European Parliament is considering a similar quota measure, and EU Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Redding is convening a meeting of CEOs to discuss the low presence of women on corporate boards and senior management. A hearing of the European Parliaments Committee on Women and Leadership was held on October 27th precisely on this issue, and Summit President Irene Natividad presented an overview of all initiatives in place currently to increase the number of women directors in different parts of the world.

     In partnership with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, Corporate Women Directors International held a Roundtable on Board Diversity on November 11th, the second in a series that brought together key stakeholders in the effort to learn from each others research and other initiatives. Representatives from 14 countries exchanged strategies and perspectives, expanded their network on this issue, and met key IFC officers focused on corporate governance.