This is an expensive blog post.
Today I decided to put my money where my mouth is and get some Twitter stock. Last week, after having shamefully gone onto the New York Stock Exchange without a woman on its board, Twitter added ex-Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino to its board of directors. I hated them for going public without women, I felt left behind. I have a very active Twitter account and, like me, the majority of Twitter’s users are women.
Also last week, the new CEO of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said he needs government legislation to help him get more women into senior roles at Siemens. He did this after losing his only two female management board members, Barbara Kux and Brigitte Ederer. His statement reminded me of a similar one Richard Branson made back in May.
Siemens’ board of directors now consists of eight white men. The management of Branson’s Virgin Trains is just as bad and hasn’t changed in almost three years. Obviously the 4th richest UK citizen and the guy managing Siemens’ market cap of over $10 billion are just people like you and me. They’re human, they can cry out for help. They want the public to believe they cannot handle us on their own, that women are a challenge which is simply beyond their reach.
But that’s just bullshit. Some consultant told them to try and “change the story” by shifting focus onto their humanity. I refuse to believe they require a quota in order to do something about gender diversity in their own huge and powerful multi-national corporations. This is not about them needing help, the issue continues to be their complacency and comfort in being surrounded by others who are just like themselves.
As for Twitter, I’m glad I don’t have to be embarrassed anymore about using a product which is managed by executives stuck in the past. But the company still has pathetically few women within its management ranks, so as a shareholder I now expect them to do something about that.