NEW YORK, Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Now is the time to make women's history, not just celebrate it," says WomenCorporateDirectors' co-founder Susan Stautberg, president of PartnerCom Corporation.
In conjunction with Women's History Month this March, WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) – the largest global membership organization of women board members – is taking significant steps to increase the numbers of women on boards worldwide. WCD initiatives in Asia, Africa, and the Americas over the coming weeks will expand upon the group's existing 42 global chapters of more than 1,400 members serving on 1,550 boards.
Highlights of WCD activity over a 2-week period leading into Women's History Month include an aggressive movement into countries with no WCD presence until now, as well as events spotlighting emerging regions:
- Nigeria – On February 22, WCD launched a chapter in Lagos, marking the third African chapter after South Africa and Morocco.
- Indonesia – February 29th marks the launch of a WCD chapter in Indonesia, supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Hills Program on Governance.
- Singapore – On March 2 at the Singapore Stock Exchange, WCD and the IFC will host Southeast Asia's first-ever OnBoard Bootcamp, a one-day, intensive seminar that provides an insider's guide on how to be selected for a board and shares "lessons learned" from experienced directors and search executives.
- The Americas – Directors from throughout the Americas will convene in Palm Beach, FL on March 9 at WCD's first-ever Americas Institute, with this year's program focusing on Latin America and its growing priority for corporate boards. KPMG is lead sponsor of the event. Lars Thunell, CEO of the World Bank's IFC, will deliver the keynote address at the event's luncheon, and the slate of speakers and panelists includes: Sherry Barrat, Vice Chairman of Northern Trust and director of NextEra Energy, Inc.; Toti Graham, director of Interbank, Quimica Suiza, Grupo Salud del Peru, ENFOCA SAFI, Corferias del Pacifico, and Red i3; Janet Clarke, director of Cox Communications, eFunds Corporation, ExpressJet Airlines Inc., and Asbury Automotive Group Inc.; P. Michael McKinley, U.S. Ambassador to Bogota, Colombia, and former U.S. Ambassador to Peru; Lillian Garcia, EVP & AVP Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela & Ecuador, and Uruguay for Tupperware Brands Corporation; Madeleine L. Champion, director of Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc., and Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc.; Julie Roberts, director of Calgon Carbon Corporation; Maria Sastre, director of Publix Super Markets, Inc., and Darden Restaurants; and Steve Odland, director of General Mills.
"With over 120 programs and events around the world in 2011, and even more scheduled in 2012, WCD is all about action – taking the steps required to get more women on boards and helping those women become ever more effective directors," says Alison Winter, co-founder of WCD and director of Nordstrom.
Having a local WCD chapter on the ground in a country such as Nigeria also gives local women a stronger base from which to negotiate for more women to be brought onto boards and into positions of power within companies, Ms. Winter explains:
"There are distinct challenges that women directors face in emerging regions – from facing a stronger legacy of corrupt systems to working in environments that are more dominated by family-owned or state-controlled enterprises. These situations create even more of a demand for directors to 'import' best practices."
WCD co-chair Henrietta Holsman Fore adds: "Consistent across the globe is the need for a community of trust – a forum that women directors can rely on to deliver the best board opportunities and governance practices." Ms. Holsman, who is also chairman and CEO of Holsman International, continues: "That is WCD's mission – creating history even while celebrating it."
For more information, please contact Suzanne Oaks of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD)
WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors, comprised of more than 1,400 members serving on over 1,550 boards in 42 chapters around the world. In this new era of responsibility, WCD is committed not just to good governance, but to governance with global vision. Smart boards are going global in members and mindset. Our members share information and insights in order to ensure best practices in corporate governance around the world.
WCD's global chapters are located in Arizona, Atlanta, Australia, Beijing, Bogota, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi, Denmark, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Indonesia, Israel, Lima, London, Malaysia, Mexico City, Minnesota, Morocco, Mumbai, New York, Nigeria, Northern California, Northern/Central Europe (Berlin), Paris, Philadelphia, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore, South Africa, Southern California, South Florida, Switzerland, Tennessee, Toronto, United Arab Emirates, and Washington, D.C.
Our mission is to continue to expand the WCD community through leadership, diversity, education, best practices in corporate governance, and a focus on development and new board placement opportunities – see WCD's Call to Action to improve diversity on boards. WCD offers local, regional, national, and international forums, providing a platform for turning ideas into action. WCD is supported by its Founding Partners, Heidrick & Struggles and KPMG. For more information, visit womencorporatedirectors.com.