Feminization of power in business: the Californian example

“The pro-feminist New York association Catalyst finds that in the seventy advocacy groups with which it works, the share of female executives has increased from 26.4% in 2013 to 29% in 2018.

“I am not a saint-nitouche”. Word of Loria Yeadon, the first woman to have joined the board of directors (CA) of TiVo, the Californian specialist in digital video recorders. And when TiVo merged with Xperi, the 50-year-old joined another board, that of the family business Laird Norton. Mme Yeadon wants to be a woman of influence. She is involved in the search for the future CEO of the company.

She feels completely free to demand, for example, the consideration of different candidates, women and minorities, for positions of high responsibility. President of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of greater Seattle, on a daily basis, she also advocates for the integration of young people on boards of directors. “My daughters are in their twenties. I take them to meetings, I organize meetings with other women, she says. I encourage them to join the governing bodies of an association so that they can learn the basics and then be able to enter a company. “

Mme Yeadon is part of the inner circle of board members, those VIPs who once were mostly male, old and retired leaders. In the United States, explains Betsy Berkhemer Credaire, director of the 2020 Women on Boards association, 60% of candidates who usually sit around the company table are “Co-opted”. “They belong to a small circle of bosses, friends of friends, without women or people of color. “ This is why Mme Headhunter Berkhemer Credaire has campaigned for a new law.

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Adopted in California in 2018, it imposes at least one woman on the directors of companies listed on the stock exchange and located in California, and even two or three women by the end of 2021, when the company has an expanded board.

She represented “all women”

The results were not long in coming. “In 2019 in California, 45% of new directors were women, notes Kim Rivera, head of legal affairs for the HP group, herself a board member of Thomson Reuters. And to insist on the progress made: “In 2018, the boards of directors of ninety-three companies were entirely male, a year later they were only seventeen. “

Statistics from the Equilar analysis group attest to the feminization of governing bodies: at the start of the year, 24% of the seats on the boards of Californian companies belonging to the Russell 3000 index were occupied by women. Other states followed the trend: New York State (23%), Massachusetts (23%) and Illinois (22%)…

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