Resources for Moving Minnesota Ahead

Use these networks and this knowledge to take action.

Minnesota companies have not yet utilized women’s leadership to gain a competitive advantage. The 2009 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership highlights the important role played by chief executive officers in the process of moving a company in the direction of real diversity.

We recognize those CEOs who have moved their organizations in the direction of well-balanced executive teams and diverse boards of directors. Companies that take this approach will outperform their competitors over time, research demonstrates. Bringing a diversity of views into the executive suite and boardroom is not just the right thing to do, but it’s the smart thing to do.

If you are interested in adding women to your board of directors, there are several ways to get started.

  • This report provides the names of 111 women who currently serve on Minnesota boards. Most of these women have the capacity to serve on another board and/or know other women who are qualified.
  • Contact the Minnesota chapter of Women Corporate Directors. This organization will provide you a directory of 35 Minnesota women who are currently directors of companies. E-mail: wcdmsp@gmail.com.
  • Contact the InterOrganization Network (www.IONwomen.org), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women on for-profit boards and in executive suites. Representing approximately 10,000 women, ION helps build awareness, opportunities and connections by creating a national voice for its 14 regional member organizations.
  • The Directors Registry at the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has a talented pool of director candidates available to boards looking to add independent directors. For $1,000, an experienced search professional will provide between eight and 10 highly qualified candidates for consideration. Contact Judith Smith at jasmith@nacdonline.org or 202-280-2187, or go to www.nacdonline.com/registry.
  • Contact Susan Boren at the executive search firm Spencer Stuart in Minneapolis. E -mail: sboren@spencerstuart.com.
  • Encourage CEOs and board members to develop a goal for board diversity, including getting to the optimum number of three women or more.

• Groundbreakers: Using the Strength of Women to Rebuild the World Economy,” Ernst & Young, April 2009. Call Ernst & Young public relations at 201-872-2439 or visit www.ey.com.

• Board Diversification Strategy: Realizing Competitive Advantage and Shareholder Value,” Virtcom Consulting. Contact John Phillips at 212-239-5487 or jphillips@virtcomconsulting.com.

• How Many Women Do Boards Need?” by Alison M. Conrad and Vicki W. Kramer, Harvard Business Review, December 2006. To order copies, visit www.hbr.org or call 800-988-0886 or 617-783-7500.

• Corporate Board Investor Survey,” Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, 2007. Visit http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/research/investorsurvey/.