African-American Women Blazing Trails on Corporate Boards

by Julie Graber | on 25 Feb 2020

I recently ran across a 1986 listing of the board members for public companies operating in Central Ohio (my hometown). Curious as to what I would find in terms of gender diversity way back then, I started working through the names, researching when needed to confirm the gender for each person listed.

As the work progressed, I started to notice that a good number of the women were African-American, which frankly surprised me - I would have expected maybe one or two women of color if any (remember - 1986). Further research led me to an amazing list of African-American women who were trailblazers for both their race and their gender in the corporate arena, including the very first woman to serve as a corporate board member.

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Just Because I'm A Woman

by Julie Graber | on 24 Feb 2020

Just because I’m a woman. After running across two examples of women bemoaning the idea that their gender might have opened a door for them, I had to say it - it's OK to be the token. It's what you do with the opportunity that matters.

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Women are Sometimes....

by Julie Graber | on 21 Feb 2020

Women are sometimes their own worst enemy.

Much as I dislike that phrase - it strikes me as similar to “boys will be boys,” a throw-away excuse for bad behavior - I have to confess that sometimes it’s true.

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The Abortion Fight and Gerri Santoro

by Julie Graber | on 1 Jan 2020

If you don’t know who Gerri Santoro was, you might want to wait before Googling her name. But everyone should know her story.

Gerri’s infamy comes not from her life but how she died — alone in a hotel room, naked, crouched on the floor with a bloody towel between her legs, bleeding out from an illegal and unsafe abortion in 1964. Her death was documented in a crime scene photo published in Ms. Magazine in 1973.

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Moms Need Not Apply

by Julie Graber | on 5 Dec 2019

The Miss World organization says that only single, childless women can handle the rigors of Miss World’s hectic schedule. The world cannot survive if the only people who can be leaders are men and women who aren’t moms. And if we’re going to realize my dream of a world where half of our leaders are women, we’re going to need to make room for moms at the table.

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Kay Hagan and Senate Pool

by Julie Graber | on 29 Oct 2019

Among her many accomplishments, Sen. Kay Hagan scored one small splash for women in the Senate pool.

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Why the Rooney Rule Isn't Enough

by Julie Graber | on 14 Oct 2019

NYC’s comptroller wants big businesses to commit to the Rooney Rule for board and CEO searches. But research shows that a single diverse candidate on a slate has little hope of being successful. It takes two, researchers tell us - two women or two minorities - to disrupt the bias about who will be the right candidate for the job and open up opportunities for women and minorities to advance.

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Systemic Bias: From the Classroom to the Boardroom

by Julie Graber | on 13 Sep 2019

Two great reads on systemic bias from Paolo Gaudiano: it starts in the classroom and follows women all the way to the boardroom. When metrics of success are based on male strengths and norms, there is little room to value what women bring to the table. This is a failure of our systems and practices, not the women whose careers may suffer the consequences.

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The Real Problem: Systemic Bias

by Julie Graber | on 29 Aug 2019

Implicit or unconscious bias has gotten a great deal of attention in the diversity and inclusion circles over the past couple of years. The jury is still out, though, as to whether or not training is the way to fix the problem. There is a bias, however, that we can do something about. That bias is systemic bias.

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Going Public with an All-Male Board

by Julie Graber | on 15 Aug 2019

WeWork is just the latest in a long line of firms who have filed for an IPO with an all-male board. Attempts to explain it away by pointing the the venture capital firms who funded the start-up is no excuse - going public means asking a much broader group of shareholders to invest in the firm - shareholders who have a right to have representation at the board table.

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