Here’s a question for you. If women consumers are the primary decision-makers, and if more and more women are earning their MBAs and proving themselves in their respective companies, why aren’t there more women in the CEO seat?
There are, of course, the famous few. Meg Whitman of eBay, Andrea Jung of Avon, Shelley Lazarus of Ogilvy & Mather, Brenda Barnes of Sara Lee and the recently dethroned Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard.
Even in the United States Congress, there are only 74 female members.
But consider a recent study that compared Fortune 500 companies with large numbers of female executives and board members with those with scant female representation. Seems that the companies with higher female representation outperformed their counterparts by delivering a 34 percent higher average shareholder return.
Albertson’s, Inc., a major grocery store chain, tops the list for having the most women on its board – six of eleven members are women. According to the company, “Women have insight into our customers that no man, no matter how bright, no matter how hard working, can match. As we pursue a customer-focused approach to growth, the insight, knowledge and expertise of women is invaluable at every level of the organization.”
Is your company customer-focused? Is that focus reflected around the mahogany conference table?
Who’s the voice of your female customer at the highest levels of your company?