05262017Headline:

Milestone Consulting, New York

HomeNew YorkMilestone Consulting

Email John Bair John Bair on LinkedIn John Bair on Twitter John Bair on Facebook
John Bair
John Bair
Contributor • (716) 883-1833

Twitter’s IPO Highlights Disparity in Board Leadership

Comments Off

It was brought to my attention recently by Lori Andrus, chair of the American Association for Justice’s Women Trial Lawyer’s Caucus, that when Twitter filed its IPO earlier this month, it listed an all-male board.  Twitter CEO Dick Costolo lamented the issue, citing a lack of available female tech leaders as the reason behind the imbalance.

This echoes the problem that I commented on several months ago regarding the lack of women in leadership positions in the legal sphere.  Similarly to Twitter’s CEO, some argue that the discrepancy of women partners, or women on Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees is the result of not enough qualified women.

Come on, guys.

Again, the real problem is not a lack of available, qualified women for the job—in fact, New York Times blogger Claire Cain Miller thought up a list of 25 female candidates who would have brought relevant skill sets to Twitter’s board, including:

  • Shelly Lazarus (former chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather; expertise in branding and marketing)
  • Anne Mulcahy (former Xerox chief executive; expertise in human resources, customer support and corporate affairs)
  • Judith McHale (former chief executive of Discovery Communications and former under secretary of state; investor in tech start-ups)
  • Indra Nooyi (chief executive of PepsiCo; background in tech w/ expertise in corporate strategy and planning)

The problem stems from an extremely outdated system of beliefs in which men are the first to be considered for leadership positions. Twitter is doing itself a great disservice by mining for board members by gender, rather than by expertise and experience.