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  • 09.30.11

Chelsea Clinton And IAC: While Some Companies Argue About Women On Boards, IAC Just Does It

While others debate whether boards should have one woman or two or three, whether quotas should be mandated, and where on earth to find a woman who has adequate experience or intellect, IAC/InterActiveCorp did something bold, electing elected two women directors who will each contribute unique value to the IAC board: Chelsea Clinton and Sonali de Rycker.

This leading global internet company elected two women directors who will each contribute unique value to the IAC board:  Chelsea Clinton, 31, who is pursuing a doctorate at Oxford University and is working at the Clinton Global Initiative; and Sonali de Rycker, 38, a general partner at Accel Partners, where she focuses on investments in the consumer Internet and digital media sectors.

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Any company that seeks to compete in the global marketplace will be wise to follow IAC’s example. With its mission to “harness the power of interactivity to make daily life easier and more productive for people all over the world,” IAC is smart enough to understand that the company will require board members with the vision, worldly experience, youth, and diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of such extraordinary candidates as Clinton and de Rycker.

It has actually puzzled me for quite some time how any board can maximize shareholder value in today’s environment if the board is dominated by homogeneous groups of elderly white men who grew up in an era of rotary telephones and three television channels, and many of whom are retired. In fact, according to recent findings in Heidrick & Struggles Board Monitor, the average age for board members is 57, ethnic diversity is dropping, and gender diversity is maintaining but not progressing.

Companies that build their boards with the Clintons, de Ryckers, and other dynamic and talented people will position themselves to win in the global marketplace that includes emerging countries and new technology.

[Image: Flickr user NatalieMaynor]

About the author

Korngold provides strategy consulting to global corporations on sustainability, facilitating corporate-nonprofit partnerships, and training and placing hundreds of business executives on NGO/nonprofit boards for 20+ years. She provides strategy and board governance consulting to NGO/nonprofit boards, foundations, and educational and healthcare institutions.

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