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Where Are the Women?

Increasingly, companies recognizing the importance of diversity at the top are investing in recruiting and developing talented women. So why aren’t we seeing more women in top roles?

The Business Case for Diversity

The facts are not in dispute. Organizations of all sizes with more women in executive roles and on boards of directors tend to outperform companies with less diversity. A 2011 study by McKinsey & Company showed that in four out of five industries, the businesses with the most women at the top earned a higher total return to shareholders than the companies with the lowest women’s representation. According to a 2012 Catalyst study, return on equity (ROE) was 35 percent higher for more diverse organizations. Of course, correlation does not necessarily equate with causation—and additional factors not identified by these studies may well be contributing to those performance figures. Still, businesses are increasingly recognizing the advantage of diversity in the upper echelons of executive offices.

Women hedge fund managers outperform their male counterparts, as demonstrated by the Rothstein Kass Women in Alternative Investments Hedge Index. In the third quarter of 2012, the women-led fund scored a net return of 8.95 percent compared to the 2.69 percent net return overall on the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index. Rothstein Kass’s survey of over 350 senior women involved in the alternative investment industry (hedge fund, private equity and venture capital), suggested that women are more risk-adverse than men and therefore better positioned to skirt downturns and avoid market volatility.

In the last five years, corporations have been phenomenally successful at on-boarding women. Today, with more women than men graduating from universities, MBA programs and law schools, most organizations have excellent records at recruiting and hiring women. Even smaller companies are rolling out women’s leadership councils, sponsorship programs and formal and informal initiatives to develop women leaders.

However, along the way, something happens to frustrate the progress. About five to seven years into their careers, women start to leave. Sometimes high performers simply quit, but often they pull back, play it safe or actually edge themselves out of being considered for top assignments, usually in anticipation of starting families. This is the dynamic that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg asks women and the organizations that value them to challenge in her new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.


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    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.