An article in the Sunday New York Times describes how the path to corporate board seats and executive suites still tracks through the prestigious golf clubs of America (“A Path to a Seat on the Board? Try the Fairway” by Landon Thomas, Jr., March 11, 2006) March is Women’s History Month, and this article is a potent reminder of the fact that women remain significantly disadvantaged when it comes to gaining access and influence in the highest echelons of corporate life. Only two women are CEO’s in the Fortune 500, according to Catalyst, an organization that tracks women’s participation on boards and in executive offices. 90% of the Fortune 500 have NO (that’s ZERO) women among their officer ranks. Only 12% of board seats are held by women.
Clearly, when the path to the boardroom must cut across the fairway and through the men’s locker room at clubs where the price of admission (aside from chromosomes) starts at $200,000 or more, women don’t have much of a chance. We are still too dependent upon the goodwill and graciousness of those rare good men who take up the cause of enlarging women’s presence in corporate life. We should be walking through the front doors of the club on our own, not waiting in the grill for the ladies’ tee times. Playing games on the fairway denies women a Fair Way to achieve corporate leadership positions.
Read more in my Women’s History Month speech to the Federal Triangle Partnership.