National Discussion on Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards

In an effort to boost gender diversity on corporate boards across the country, Simmons College will host a panel discussion as part of the national campaign 2020 Women on Boards, Tuesday,  November 12, at 7:30 a.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center of the Main College Building.

The discussion is one of several being held around the country that day -- all with a focus on increasing the number of women on U.S. corporate boards. The campaign aims to raise the percentage of women on U.S. corporate boards to 20 percent or greater by 2020.

The Simmons event is open to the public. To register, visit SimmonsLEADS. Join the conversation on Twitter @2020wob and #2020WOB.

Discussion panelists include:

• Susan Vinnicombe, OBE, Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Endowed Chair in Women's Leadership, School of Management, Simmons College
• Joe Keefe, President and CEO, Pax World Funds
• Cathy Minehan, Dean of the School of Management, and a board member of VISA, MassMutual, Mass General Hospital, and Partners Healthcare System.

Women continue to make steady gains in the boardrooms of Fortune 1000 companies, according to the third annual 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 Companies. Women now make up 16.6 percent of board membership in Fortune 1000 companies, up from 14.6 percent in 2011.

"The issue of increasing the number of women on corporate boards has become urgent across the globe," said Vinnicombe. "As a member of The Lord Davies Steering Committee in the United Kingdom, where we are striving to achieve 25 percent women on our top 100 boards by 2015, I applaud the efforts of this report. It is vital that every company has a critical mass of women on their boards to ensure a diversity of perspectives in their decision-making. Overwhelmingly, the research indicates that women are good for business."

The 2020 Women on Boards campaign supporters include individuals, organizations, and companies that embrace the principle that diversity in the boardroom encourages good corporate decision-making. Chapters are being launched in major cities across the United States. The campaign publishes the annual Gender Diversity Index, which reports on the gender diversity of boards of directors in Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, visit

This event is part of SimmonsLEADS, a dynamic series of exciting speakers, programs, and events that focus on the empowerment and development of women leaders. The initiative aims to further the mission of the College's founder, John Simmons -- to enable women to acquire independent livelihoods. All SimmonsLEADS events are non-profit fundraisers for graduate scholarships at Simmons College to help ensure the viability of women's education for generations to come.

Founded in 1899, Simmons College ( is a nationally recognized university located in Boston with a history of visionary thinking and social responsibility. It offers undergraduate education for women and the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. It also features renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences; liberal arts, including education and behavior analysis; library and information science; social work; and business. Follow us on Twitter at @SimmonsCollege and@SimmonsNews.

Posted by Carolyn Fitzpatrick on News & Events