Women on Corporate Boards

Experts to Discuss Ways to Increase Numbers to Improve Bottom Line

“Women in the Corporate Boardroom: A Business Imperative for American Companies,’’ is the topic of a Sept. 16 program at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, sponsored by the University of Connecticut School of Business, the Connecticut State Treasurer’s Office and the Connecticut Forum.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, will moderate a panel of experts who will discuss various viewpoints, enhanced by their own experiences and research, in addressing the shortage of women in the boardroom.

Panelists include: Afsaneh Bechloss, CEO of The Rock Creek Group and former treasurer and chief investment officer of The World Bank, and Aaron Dhir, professor of law at Osgood Hall Law School, whose book “Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity,’’ was published this spring.

Anyone interested in attending the forum can reserve tickets at www.business.uconn.edu/WICB. There is no charge to attend,

but pre-registration is required.

The discussion will include the best way to increase the number of women on corporate boards of U.S companies, whether women increase corporate performance, and should the Securities and Exchange Commission enforce more gender equality on corporate boards. They will address how women board representatives impact an organization’s bottom line and whether and how more balance can be quickly and effectively achieved.

At Standard & Poor’s top 1,500 companies, only 15 percent of board members are women. In the past seven years, that number has increased only 4 percent. The U.S. is one of the last developed countries where this effort is being led primarily by institutional investors. In contrast, Germany became the latest country to commit to improving the representation of women, passing a law that requires some of Europe’s biggest companies to give 30 percent of supervisory seats to women, beginning next year.

The UConn School of Business has a longstanding commitment to gender diversity and promoting women’s career advancement. At the MBA level, it has an active chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs that hosts speakers and panel discussions. For undergraduates, the school’s Office of Diversity Initiatives focuses on closing the gender gap of women and high school girls entering technical fields. In Stamford, the finance program is involved in “100 Women in Hedge Funds’’ and is hosting its third annual event for women entrepreneurs this September.

Women in the Corporate Boardroom

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