May 15, 2013
By Marilyn Nagel
Here at Watermark, we’re so proud of Wendy Lea, Watermark Board Chair Emeritus and CEO of Get Satisfaction, who has been front and center in the public eye as of late. She’s recently been featured in a new GoToMeeting ad campaign, and was highlighted in the famous “Corner Office” series in the NY Times. Way to go, Wendy!
May 10, 2013
By Marilyn Nagel
This weekend is Mother’s day, and we wish mothers everywhere the gratitude and love that they so deserve. While it is wonderful to have this reminder to recognize the important role mothers play in our lives, it’s also a poignant reminder that, as a country, the U.S. is way behind in supporting working mothers.
It is remarkable that we consider ourselves a model for other countries – yet we are behind in legislation regarding diversity on public boards, on equal wage enforcement, flexible work practices and on maternity leave requirements. In many other countries, a minimum leave allocation is required. In Sweden, the mother and father get a total of a year and a half off to care for a new child, and they can divide that time any way they want between the two parents. This promotes sharing childcare but more importantly, allows women to remain in the workforce and still take time off as they have children.
One of the reasons women have difficulty advancing to top level positions is that many leave their careers in their mid-thirties to raise children, and when they want to return to the work world, they have difficulty obtaining a job. (more…)
May 7, 2013
By Kristi Royse
You have to know yourself before you can effectively lead others. Many leadership experts call this “finding your voice”, and it is the best starting point when you decide to make improving your leadership skills a priority.
Over the past two decades, my work in executive coaching and leadership development programs always begins with assessing and focusing on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
I have met many leaders who have learned how to do everything smarter – they are focused, passionate and committed to their life and work, understanding the importance of self-reflection.
I offer up the following questions which were developed based on my experience coaching these successful leaders and are meant to help you create more opportunities in your life.
Ask yourself these questions:
Value of Self: Do I clearly see my dream?
If your core values and vision are not clear, no strategy will work and it will be impossible to prioritize correctly. It is vital for today’s leader to bring others along on the journey, but you first have to know where you are going.
Clarity of values will give you the confidence to make tough decisions, to act with determination, and to take charge of your life. (more…)
May 2, 2013
By Marilyn Nagel
SUNNYVALE — Seven months after giving birth and two months after she shook up the tech world by ordering employees to stop working from home, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is now offering female employees 16 weeks of paid maternity leave while new dads get eight weeks of paid leave.
For a couple working at Yahoo, the change in policy means new Yahoo moms and dads could have a combined six months of paid time off to bond with their new babies. They’ll even get four months off combined for babies they adopt or foster.
Yahoo’s new company perks include free Yahoo gifts for both babies and pets and reimbursements for employee laundry and housekeeping costs. But the maternity and paternity policies especially pleased Mayer watchers on Tuesday who shook their heads after she banned telecommuting and ordered employees back into the office. (more…)
May 1, 2013
By Marilyn Nagel
High-five to all the Watermark Members recently welcomed to the 2013 class of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence. Read More >
Laurie Lumenti Garty
Congratulations to Karen Rodhe for her new position as Chief Human Resources Officer of Amyris Inc. Read More >
Longtime Watermark Board Member Shellye Archambeau was recently listed as the second most influential african americans in technology. Way to go! Read More >
We’re so proud of Kat Gordon, Founder of the 3% Conference, for winning a 2013 “Marketers That Matter” Award for Customer Engagement. What’s more, she was nominated by a fellow Watermark member, Dr. Barbara Mark, for the Award. Yet another great example of how Watermark women support other women! Read More >
Want to be featured in the You Go, Girl! section of The Watermark Factor? Don’ be shy! Email usyour latest and greatest successes, and we’ll include it in next month’s version.
*Watermark Factor successes include: Major career milestones, like a key promotion, new job, or new board seat, OR publication/news feature in a high-profile publication with national readership. The Watermark editorial team will curate which successes show up in this space.
April 24, 2013
By Dana Kunz
A study of 624 directors of corporate boards indicates that the presence of women on a board of directors may shift its decision-making style towards best or “right” and away from tradition.
According to Drs. Chris Bart and Gregory McQueen in “Why Women Make Better Directors?”*, female directors scored significantly higher than their male counterparts when selecting the best or “right” path for the organization. This decision-making style, called complex moral reasoning (CMR) involves taking circumstances and competing interests into consideration. It differs from the styles that focus on tradition and rules (normative) or self-gain (personal interest).
This author weighted the study findings to see how board decision-making styles might look if they were 100% women, 100% men, or 50-50 men and women. The end result shows that the presence of women increases the overall presence of CMR in comparison to an all-male board. (more…)
April 18, 2013
By Shellye Archambeau
Who else remembers those tailored pinstripe suites, the pressed white or pastel shirts, the silk bow ties and the pointy-toed pumps? This was the professional working women’s uniform when I started my career with IBM in the ‘80s. In those days it was all about conformity and blending in, because we didn’t fit in.
Today we have 18 women leading Fortune 500 companies. While not a high number, it is 17 more than we had in 1972 when Katharine Graham broke the barrier. More important than the numbers, these female CEOs are causing us to raise the discussion of women as leaders in actuality versus theoretically. And surprise, surprise, these women leaders are no longer conforming.
Now with high-profile female leaders, we are seeing that there is no single female style of leadership. As a result, we have become fascinated with the nuances of each woman’s path to leadership and her style of leadership. Especially when it doesn’t conform to expectations. (more…)
April 15, 2013
By Dana Kunz
The data are clear: women are excellent decision-makers.
In the study of 624 directors of corporate boards*, women are more likely to use a decision-making style that rocks the boat and challenges tradition. As a result, male directors may be less likely to include women on boards…after all, it is traditional and more comfortable for members to be men.
According to Drs. Chris Bart and Gregory McQueen in “Why Women Make Better Directors?”, female directors scored significantly higher than their male counterparts when making the best or “right” path for the organization considering both circumstances and competing interests. (more…)
April 14, 2013
By Marilyn Nagel
Chief Operating Officer, Seiler LLP
Lynne has been a member of Watermark since 2008 and serves on the Board of Directors, where she heads the Strategic Planning Committee. She has taken an entrepreneurial approach throughout her career, working with law firms, Silicon Valley organizations, and as a co-founder of an early internet retail company. During her years living in New York City, she ran an avant-garde theatre company – an experience she treasures and credits with her ability to bring creative and unique solutions to business challenges and firm initiatives.
What are some of the ways you champion other women?
I coach women professionals to understand their purpose, to know who they are and understand where they want to go in their careers. Once you understand your true purpose and individual strengths, you can align your goals with the objectives of the organization. When you think about your career path as a personal business plan that synergistically aligns with the needs of the company, it’s the best of both worlds – for you professionally and for your company.
Within my network, I try to make thoughtful and targeted connections by making business or client referrals, or recommending board positions. I particularly enjoy connecting women who can mutually support each other’s career aspirations or personal goals, share common experiences or even become friends. (more…)
April 2, 2013
By Marilyn Nagel
Approximately 1 in 3 married women are the primary wage earners in their household. A Booz Allen study dubbed women “The Third Billion,” inferring that we are the next global economy. In the new knowledge-based economy, women make up a majority of the workforce in 9 of the 10 occupations that will add the most jobs in the next eight years. Women hold 51.5% of all management and professional positions, and are outpacing men in securing college or graduate degrees. And yet, women only earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by males in the workforce.
This is not a “women’s issue”; it is an issue that impacts our economy. At last year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit, Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton’s keynote put it clearly: “… to achieve the economic expansion we all seek, we need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source of growth is women. With economic models straining in every corner of the world, none of us can afford to perpetuate the barriers facing women in the workforce.Because by increasing women’s participation in the economy and enhancing their efficiency and productivity, we can bring about a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of our economies. (more…)