NEW YORK, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 1-2, 2012, more than 225 of the most powerful corporate businesswomen in the world will meet in New York City at WomenCorporateDirectors' second annual Global Institute. The theme of the invitation-only institute is "Globalization: Frontiers and Crossroads."
As the issue of women on corporate boards is reaching critical mass around the world, WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) has seen its membership grow 40% in the last year, to more than 1,400 directors in 42 chapters worldwide, with new chapters in Indonesia and Nigeria in the past six weeks alone.
This trend marks the convergence of several global forces, including:
- Proven performance results of board diversity: Numerous studies (from groups such as Catalyst and McKinsey) link better corporate performance and board diversity.
- Regulatory pressures: More quotas and regulations are being imposed on companies around the world to increase the number of women on boards.
- Public pressures: Widespread consumer and investor protests ensue when high-profile companies fail to put women on their boards – such as the uproar surrounding Facebook's board as the company announced plans to go public this spring.
- Push from board nominating committees: Many nominating committees – as well as CEOs and board chairs – are pushing for greater diversity on corporate boards and board candidate slates.
"Boards need to be global in members and mindset," says WCD co-founder and co-chair Susan Stautberg, president of PartnerCom Corp. "Increased globalization and recognition of the importance of diversity are changing how boards think about new directors – and the skills and perspectives needed in the boardroom today."
"New revenue streams often bring new rewards and risks," says Alison Winter, WCD co-founder and co-chair and a director at Nordstrom, Inc. "The Global Institute addresses these issues head-on, and shows how women directors are often leading the charge in shifting their boardrooms' thinking about global business."
Featuring a keynote by Campbell's Soup CEO Denise Morrison, the program includes panelists and speakers from the highest level of business globally, including, among others:
- Fatima Al Jaber – President, Al Jaber Group (Abu Dhabi)
- Mercedes Araoz Fernandez – Representative in Mexico, InterAmerican Development Bank; Director, QuiCorp; Former Minister, Peru; and former Peruvian presidential candidate
- Deb Henretta – Procter & Gamble Group President, Asia (Singapore)
- Romi Haan – Founder and CEO, Haan Corporation (Korea)
- Phuti Malabie – CEO, Shanduka Group (South Africa)
- Olunfunke Iyabo Osibodu – Group Managing Director and Chief Executive, Union Bank of Nigeria
- Sandi Peterson – CEO and Chair, Bayer CropScience (Germany); Director, Dun & Bradstreet
- Ann Korologos – Former U.S. Secretary of Labor; Director of AMR Corporation, Harman International Industries, Host Hotels & Resorts, Kellogg Company, and Vulcan Materials Company
- Halla Tomasdottir – Co-founder and Chairman, Audur Capital, Veritas, and TAL (Iceland)
- Ann Veneman – Former Secretary of Agriculture; former Executive Director, UNICEF; Director, Nestle and Alexion Pharmaceuticals
- Deborah Wright – Director, Renner Retail Stores (Brazil)
As part of the Global Institute, WCD will again present the prestigious Visionary Awards, honoring Intel; Publicis Groupe; DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman; and Desjardins Group President, Chair, and CEO Monique Leroux. "Launched in 2011, these awards recognize companies and CEOs who are role models in using strong women directors and leaders to transform corporate governance and strategy," says Henrietta Holsman Fore, co-chair of WCD and director of ExxonMobil and Theravance, Inc.
KPMG is the lead sponsor of the Institute. Other participating companies include:
Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Heidrick & Struggles, Adecco, Baccarat, Bloomberg, J.P. Morgan, Kellogg Company, Paul Hastings, DuPont, Ernst & Young, Harman International Industries, Host Hotels, Intel, MetLife, Publicis Groupe, Publicis USA, Toyota, Vivaki, and Zenith OptMedia.
For more information about the WCD Global Institute, or to see the full two-day agenda, please contact Suzanne Oaks of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or [email protected].
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, Mexico City, Malaysia, 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.
About the WCD Global Institute
The WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) 2012 Global Institute is an unprecedented opportunity for global board directors to share corporate governance and business strategies and to build partnerships with a purpose, in a private, invitation-only setting.
The Institute is a two-day, high-powered idea forum exploring compelling issues on the minds of today's board directors and their companies. The program includes keynotes, panels, and discussion groups – as well as the WCD Visionary Awards Dinner – that facilitate informal peer exchanges. Panels include "Globalization 3.0: An Uncharted World of Dissolving Certainty," "Changing Global Demographics: Implications for an Evolving Workforce," "When the Terrain Gets Tough, Women Take the Wheel (in the Boardroom and C-Suite)," "Creating Advantage: What's the Next Paradigm Shift in Technology?," "Geopolitical Dynamics: Emerging Markets Change the Game," and "Global Scarcities: Creating Market Opportunities and New Challenges."