Speaker's Information

Imagine a room where there are 8 women sitting around a table.

  • Where is the table? Is it a kitchen table? Is it a coffee table?
  • What are they there for? Is it a baby shower? A Tupperware party? A bake sale planning session?

If your mental image cannot conceive of the possibility that these women are key members of the board of directors of a top Fortune 500 company, then perhaps even you might be buying into the historic prejudices and biases that are keeping women from their rightful positions at the helm of our public companies.

The issue is this: We need to address the myths that exist about women on boards of directors and eliminate the stereotypes that prevent women from advancing to leadership roles on boards of directors.

The issue is significant because: Men hold "beliefs" about women on boards of directors that are stereotypes which restrict the candidate pool from which boards might choose. Women hold "beliefs" about boards of directors that potentially deter their willingness to serve on boards.

Elizabeth Ghaffari would like to have a conversation with you about Champion Boards
-- for your business, for your organization, for your future.

Appropriate audiences: Who can benefit from hearing the "myths of women on boards" message.

  • Corporate leaders and existing board members can evaluate how they interact and communicate with other members of the board team.
  • Corporate leaders, women's organizations and diversity groups can consider how effectively they address the myths that surround women candidates for governance roles.

The goals are:

  • Acknowledge the myths and stereotypes that surround women candidates for boards of directors
  • Substitute alternative perspectives and demonstrate the value and power of diversity within boards of directors.

How does the issue impact you: A board of directors is a powerful tool for setting the strategic direction of a firm. A board's ability to formulate a viable management development plan will determine the growth of talent within the organization. As long as artificial "myths" are allowed to dominate, the potential for creative collaboration and for productive exchange are artificially constrained.

My ideal outcome is this: That the increased presence of women on boards of directors will be accompanied by a renewed sense of purpose and effectiveness on the part of all board participants.

What do we need to understand: What is the current status?

  1. why do boards exist?
  2. why have there been so few women on boards?
  3. what is a "champion board" in today's economy?
  4. how does one build a "champion board"?
  5. when will it happen?
  6. how will it happen?

Where do we go from here:

  1. Examine the myths, the stereotype, and the biases that have evolved over time.
  2. Replace the myths with factual understanding of the economic contribution women make to the employment, investment, and consumption in our marketplace economy.
  3. Ensure that talented, experienced women are ready to take their place at the governance table.

Who am I?

Elizabeth Ghaffari is a dynamic, energetic, and entertaining speaker who will challenge you and your audience to think differently about the way they do business today.

Her message is refreshing, hopeful, and realistic. Most of all, her message is optimistic. We can do better. We can find and build better boards that collaborate more effectively and that can chart new paths to the future. We can do this.


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