Summary of A Woman's Place Is in the Boardroom

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A Woman's Place Is in the Boardroom book summary

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In their earlier book, A Woman’s Place Is in the Boardroom: The Business Case, executive coach Peninah Thomson and management consultant Jacey Graham, working with Tom Lloyd, identified a universal problem in corporate boardrooms around the world: a dearth of female members. The reasons, they explained, are a shortage of qualified female candidates and a biased selection process. As a sequel to that book, The Roadmap plots a route guiding women executives to board positions. The journey includes eight main milestones they must pass on their way to landing their desired positions. The book is not without its detours, however, and some chapters meander slightly or delve into seemingly tangential topics. Some of the material is targeted only at women executives in the U.K. Still, getAbstract considers this a trip worth taking for any woman seeking a coveted board position. Businesses that want to remove the roadblocks for women board candidates will also benefit from each chapter’s “Reflections for Companies.”

About the Authors

Peninah Thomson is an executive coach and partner at Praesta Partners in the U.K. Jacey Graham specializes in diversity strategy and is currently a partner at Brook Graham. Tom Lloyd has authored five books, including The Nice Company.


“The State of Play”

A gender-balanced board is more than a diversity issue; it makes sound business sense. In fact, research shows that companies with three or more female board members achieve higher-than-average levels of corporate performance. Although the number of women board members in the U.S. and the U.K. dipped in 2006, the setback was temporary. In 2007, the number of Fortune 500 directorships held by women in the U.S. grew slightly to 14.8%. In the U.K. that year, women accounted for one-fifth of all new board appointments in the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 companies – a record high for the Female FTSE.

However, there’s still plenty of room to grow. To address the shortage of women on U.K. boards, many FTSE 100 chairmen agreed to become mentors in the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme. This program helps women executives within two levels of the board become attractive candidates for directorship. Upon its 2004 launch, the program appointed seven mentors to the candidates. By 2007, the pool of mentors had expanded to 30. As part of the program’s ongoing development, the authors created a “roadmap” to guide women executives in becoming...

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