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The networks of highly connected women directors through the glass ceiling Dr Rosanne Hawarden www. betterboards.biz “Maximising people potential & performance”

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Presentation on theme: "The networks of highly connected women directors through the glass ceiling Dr Rosanne Hawarden www. betterboards.biz “Maximising people potential & performance”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The networks of highly connected women directors through the glass ceiling Dr Rosanne Hawarden www. betterboards.biz “Maximising people potential & performance”

2 Outlier - a director with 2+ seats (Malcolm Gladwell) In 1999, the first Fortune 500 company woman CEO, Carleton Fiorina of Hewlett Packard said “ Women face no limits whatsoever. There is not a glass ceiling” “Maximising people potential & performance”

3 Branson (2010) Last Male Bastion Trophy directors Super trophy 4-7 seats directors 8+ seats The best way for a woman to become a director of a Fortune 500 company? Golden token director A tenured Harvard University professor in law, economics, business or medicine. “Maximising people potential & performance”

4 Board appointments Black Swan events? Rare High impact Unpredictable Only explained in retrospect “Maximising people potential & performance” Nicolas Taleb’s term As rare as a white kiwi?

5 A New View on Diversity? Successful business networks are stable and predictable with sufficient diversity to ensure their survival in times of political and economic change. Hiring aliens from outer space? “Maximising people potential & performance”

6 A New View on Diversity? “Maximising people potential & performance” Pareto’s rule of 80/20 or the power law “Critical few and the trivial many” 20% connector directors 80% single seat directors

7 Its not a Glass Ceiling Its a Glass Network Glass Ceiling = First board appointment to a substantial listed company “Maximising people potential & performance”

8 The Glass Network The ‘Glass Network’ is invisible to participants and only revealed through analysis tools. The complex and powerful network organising the world of non-executive directorships opening (or closing) opportunities for aspiring directors. “Maximising people potential & performance” Dr Rosanne Hawarden DBA, FCIS

9 Social network analysis Look at how many components and only analyse the largest component Red dots are connector directors with six seats or links to other directors “Maximising people potential & performance”

10 No of seats or directorships US Fortune 1000 directors MaleFemale Totals Use quotas to increase this level? GLASS CEILING BASICS “Maximising people potential & performance”

11 The Glass Network The ‘Glass Network’ uses the links created between directors sitting at a common boardroom table Female directors are not marginalised in the smaller components, tending to be found in the largest connected component, often 80% of the network The networks of male and female directors are the same, differing only in size Most directors have only one directorship or seat, approximately 20% have two plus seats and are the ‘connector directors’ Directors as outliers - misconceptions about success Women are found in all director networks, a few always have multiple seats. Director networks look the same at the global, national or regional level Recruiting directors by ‘shoulder tapping’ gives rise to the familiar ‘old boy’ network A power law called the ‘law of the critical few and trivial many’ shapes the network. City size, company size and tax payments also follow a power law. Pareto’s 80/20 rule. Big successful companies in large cities have bigger boards that appoint more women “Maximising people potential & performance”

12 Quotas? To force rapid social change quotas (racial or gender based) are an effective tool. Equity is hard won and not easily sustained. “Maximising people potential & performance”

13 Conclusions for Aspiring Directors Competition is covert and fierce for scare appointments Start early getting governance skills and board experience – the best connected directors can have board appointments in a business career Use personal enablers that will raise your profile – ie family connections, celebrity status Very high director turnover means that even the most successful directors don’t stay long Realistic expectations - you will most likely only ever have one substantial board appointment “Maximising people potential & performance”


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