WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (October 3-9, 2011)


Anne Mulcahy on women in the boardroom.” By Jena McGregor. Washington Post. October 6, 2011. At this week’s Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif., former Xerox CEO and Chairman Anne Mulcahy sounded a warning to her fellow powerful women. After decades of taking pride in being trailblazers and pioneers as the first female board members at companies, women should now find taking such jobs as the first woman unwise, Mulcahy cautioned. “It’s a bad sign,” she told the audience, according to reporter Colleen Leahey. “Boards without women – blacklist those suckers. It’s 2011. They’ve had the time – it’s significant that they don’t have women.” I’ll resist invoking the Virginia Slims slogan for everyone’s sake. But it is dramatic how far we’ve come—from a time when being the first female director of a board was a common experience to a day when one of the most respected women in business suggests that female leaders have enough choices to say no; that in 2011, boards without female members are so behind the times that they should come with warning signs. All of which raises an interesting question. If given the opportunity to join an all-male board, should women really “blacklist those suckers,” as Mulcahy reportedly said? Are the challenges they’d face in being a member of that board so great as to outweigh the potential good they could do by joining? Or can women have more impact by joining a board where there is already some semblance of diversity?

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