Archive for June, 2009

Celebrating Women of the US

Monday, June 29th, 2009

vote3With July 4th being this weekend, it seems appropriate to talk about women who have been leaders in the shaping our country. There are government leaders like Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Elizabeth Dole and so many more. There are currently 16 US Senators, 75 Congresswomen and seven female Governors.  Women like Mary Kay Ash, Oprah Winfrey, Anne M. Mulcahy and Brenda Barnes have risen in the business world and have charted new territory for other businesswomen to follow.

Women have led the way in “going green as well. Jacquelyn A. Ottman and Roxanne Quimby co-founders of Burt’s Bee’s Inc. are two pioneers in this field.

Annika Sorenstam, Peggy Fleming, Mia Hamm and the Williams sisters are role models for young women in the world of sports.

Women are contributing to every phase of our lives, from automotive to military and from academia to healthcare.

On this July Fourth weekend, let us remember all the talented men and women who have helped make this country great.

Would Women on Corporate Boards Have Averted the Financial Crisis?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

blogart1I just read an article on the subject of women on corporate boards in Norway I found interesting.
Norway proposed a law requiring list or main companies to have 40 percent women as directors. Mimi Berdal, a former corporate lawyer was contacted by many of the 500 company boards that had to comply with the new law. She now sits on 12 boards. Ms Berdal is just one of many women who have found themselves suddenly being pursued by Norwegian businesses. Many like Berdal have become full-time non-executive directors. However, as time passes and more women are moving up as powerful executives in corporations, they are developing a much broader base of potential director candidates. Many nominating committees have discovered there are more competent women to select from than they originally thought. blogart2

     One thing I really liked about Norway’s system is that they separate their boards from the management of the company. Its nomination committee, which chooses only directors and not executives, better, represents shareholder views. The country now has the world’s highest proportion of female board members. Other European counties with very high proportion are the Netherlands and the UK, both with 12 per- cent.

blogart3     In the US, companies, boards that have more women are more profitable. Gender diversity provides a wider variety of ideas and views that are necessary in today’s business environment. It is also widely believed that the current financial crisis might have been averted if more women were in positions of power.

They Still Don’t Get It

Monday, June 8th, 2009

     “They just don’t get it” is a worldwide phenomenon. I recently read an article on TomTom’s new GPS device. According to the author, “Dutch GPS brand TomTom decided to jump on the marketing to women bandwagon and came up with the White Pearl. It’s more luxurious and has ’special content’ for women. The ’special content’ includes categories such as ‘Places to be seen,’ ‘Shop ‘til you drop’ and ‘Everyday fashion.’ The ‘special content’ I find insulting and useless. Of course, the darn thing is more expensive than the regular model.” To read the entire blog, click on
     Marketing to women is a good idea since they are the major purchasers of most items globally. However, that doesn’t mean make it pink, or white pearl in this case, and add condescending information “for women.” If marketers and designers ask women what they wanted before producing and advertising the product and its features, they would have better luck. If they don’t know who to ask or what to ask, hire consultants who specialize in this area to assist with the information gathering and research phase. This process would undoubtedly lead to more sales and less criticism on the internet.
     More than ever, marketers, designers and retailers need to pay attention to women. They are the best, and sometimes only, way to increase sales. And with social networking, blogs and so many other technology venues, manufacturers can’t afford mistakes, even for a brief time.