"Abbiamo più che mai bisogno di donne nei Consigli di amministrazione". Era questo il titolo della lettera scritta, con grande lucidità e preveggenza, da diciassette manager (tutti uomini) alla guida di altrettante compagnie quotate alla Borsa di Londra, all’indomani della crisi finanziaria che ha colpito tutta Europa (pubblicata dal Daily Tlegraph nell’ottobre 2008. Allora mi era “scappata” ma mi sembra più che mai attuale!).
In pratica i manager chiarivano che l’attuale crisi non deve essere una scusa per archiviare o in ogni modo bloccare progetti riguardanti una miglior gestione delle risorse umane ma anzi in periodi di crisi, proprio perché cadono quelle che si credevano solide certezze, c’è spazio per nuove forme di collaborazione e organizzazione all’interno di un’azienda.
Insomma, la crisi non come “stop” ma come nuovo inizio. Anche per la presenza delle donne nei ruoli decisionali (all’interno dei Consigli di amministrazione), perché le donne – cito testualmente la lettera (che trovate qui sotto, in Inglese) – “hanno un impatto positivo sul profilo e la cultura di un Cda”.
Letter to the Editor
We are living through extraordinary times, and extraordinary times call for innovative solutions. We are convinced it is essential to accelerate the progress of women into senior positions, given the UK’s need to deploy the best talent available. This need is greater than ever in the current economic climate.
We are all mentors of senior women in the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme, sharing our experience, guidance and networks with them in order to address the barriers to women’s advancement into the boardroom. We are frustrated by the glacial pace of change.
The number of directorships held by women in FTSE 100 companies is only 12% of the total, a meagre increase from 6% at the turn of the millennium. In many other areas of UK society, the rise in senior women’s participation has stalled.
At a colloquium at the London Stock Exchange convened by Praesta Partners, LLP and Mckinsey & Company we, together with senior women executives and delegates from six other countries, underlined the economic and business case for having a far greater number of able and appropriately qualified women on UK boards in the private and public sector. Women contribute to properly balanced boards, and from our personal experience we are clear that their participation has a beneficial impact on the character and culture of the board. Business leaders have spoken out on the need for action on climate change and povetry; it is time to do the same on gender. Our organisations are not all at the same stage of evolution in relation to having women on the board. The important thing is that we are all moving in the same direction, and actively working to make progress. Mentoring talented senior women who want to be credible candidates for executive and non-executive board roles is a practical and powerful action to change the status quo.
Roger Carr, chairman, Cadbury and Centrica plc
Dominic Casserley, managing partner UK & Ireland McKinsey & Company
Peter Erskine, non-executive director Telefonica SA and former chief executive 02
Sir Richard Evans CBE former chairman, United Utilities plc
lain Ferguson, CBE, chief executive Tate & Lyle plc
Niall Fitzgerald KBE deputy chairman, Thomson Reuters plc
Sir Philip Hampton, chairman, J Sainsburry and vice president CBE
Philip Jansen chief executive, Europe, Sodexo
Sir Rob Margetts, CBE chairman Legal and General
Charles Miller Smith chairman Asia House
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, KCMG, chairman Anglo American plc
Richard Olver, chairman BAE Systems plc
Sir John Parker, chairman, National Grid Group plc
David Reid, chairman, Tesco plc
Sir Peter Ricketts, Permanent Under Secretary and head of the Diplomatic Service, Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
James Smith chairman, Shell UK Ltd
Peter Sutherland, KCMG, chairman, BP plc