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|Articles - November 2011|
|Wednesday, October 19, 2011|
Page 1 of 7
By Linda Baker
In the mid-1990s, former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts reached out to Nike and a few banks and insurance companies with the intention of landing a seat on a corporate board of directors. But the offers never came, says Roberts, whose resume included presiding over an economic expansion as governor, a background in small business, and a five-year teaching stint at Harvard. Around the country, male governors received an “automatic board solicitation when they finished their terms,” recalls Roberts. But at the time, she says, the same opportunities were not available to women. “We did not receive that outreach,” she says, “or the opportunity for additional income after leaving office.”
Fifteen years later, Roberts says the situation is changing for female governors. But the underlying problem of a male boardroom monoculture persists. In a survey of Oregon’s 46 publicly traded companies, Oregon Business found that women occupy only 39 of 340 existing board seats and that almost half of the 46 companies have no women on their boards at all. And since several female directors are “duplicates” — that is, they serve on more than one board — the total number of women serving on Oregon’s public corporate boards is actually 35. Oregon Business did not gather data on privately held companies in Oregon because many private companies either do not have boards or will not reveal the names of board directors.
The dearth of women involved in corporate governance is a social equity issue — publicly traded companies compensate directors an average of $76,000 a year — and a business performance issue. An emerging body of global research suggests boards with female board members outperform those without female members across industry sectors. A 2007 analysis by Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to improving opportunities for women in business, found that Fortune 500 companies with higher numbers of female board members outperform those with fewer women based on several financial benchmarks. Measured by return on sales and return on equity, for example, companies with the highest percentages of women board directors experience better financial results than those with the least number of women. “The numbers are startling,” says Mary Boughton, senior regional director for Catalyst.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.
Monday, July 06, 2015
Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
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