UC Davis Annual Study on Women Business Leaders

Click on this image to watch the KVIE interview.
Click on this image to watch the KVIE interview.

We’ve been asked, why do we need a women’s chamber in our region? Well, according to the UC Davis Annual Report on California Women Business Leaders, while graduate numbers of women are increasing, we’re actually seeing a decrease in the # of women in the board room. And this is just of one of many reasons why an organization dedicated to developing influencing skills and abilities, as well as emotionally intelligent leadership and influencing behaviors in women and young girls is critical to the economic growth and vibrancy of the Capital region.

Screenshot 2014-05-16 11.34.34We present the UC Davis Report, and also the recent March 2014 segment of Studio Sacramento with Scott Syphax on PBS. He sat down with Aeisha Mastagni, Investment Officer for the Corporate Governance Division CalSTRS, and former Vistage Chair Wendy Beecham, who is now Managing Director of Executive Education for the UC Davis School of Management. They discussed underrepresentation in executive management and on boards of directors, and what needs to change to increase the gender diversity of C-level positions and boards. Watch the segment here. 

One of the strands in this conversation is that women may not be taking influential leading roles because they don’t see they have the networks or resources to be successful. The networks of people women tend to build or engage with tend to lean into those populated with people they like, while men tend to create networks that will help them reach a specific goal. What do you think?

Click on the image below to read the full UC Davis PDF report.

UC Davis Report on Women Business Leaders


Collaboration Not Duplication

Dear Women of the Capital Region:

As we head into our first official event, while our new logos and website are being developed, and our first platform for what we stand for and hope to deliver is spiffed up – we wanted to get it out there – the elephant in the room – and invite the conversation. We begin by sharing this article by Winnie Comstock-Carlton in the January issue of her magazine. It is a fair exploration of the benefits of merging nonprofits in the region – an ongoing conversation. This conversation is most certainly tied to the handful of questions and remarks we’ve had since raising our hand in the community.

It is fair to ask “do we need another women’s organization”? Or do we really need another business chamber? What’s the impetus? How will this be different? Will a new organization like this dilute regional resources or strengthen them? Why Now? Why influence? Will this threaten existing, long-time business chambers? Is there really a need for this at all?

manyhandsonworldThese and more are all reasonable questions to ask and we anticipated them, which is why we’re preparing an in-depth survey to engage our growing group of new members and the community at large beginning March 27th in conversation. We really want to identify and focus in on what our regional gaps and needs may be, as viewed through the eyes of women in business in the area of growing and leveraging women of influence and leadership.

So many have communicated – young and veteran alike – that local and regional groups do a great job of addressing many, many aspects of their professional development, but their needs and expectations for access to influence opportunity and capacity development in investment, equity opportunity, advanced leadership positions, mentoring by other women of influence, and more…aren’t being met as well as they could be.

The purpose we have set out to fulfill is to meet the needs of women in our region as they exist, and not within silos of protectionism. But rather collectively, to the extent we can identify those real needs and women are willing to share. We hope to serve you as they evolve, as needs do, as generations change.  We seek to serve those who boldly proclaim leadership and influence is a part of their path.

What we hope for is a renewed dialogue and respect for engaged collaboration. We are committed to this fundamental ideal because we believe that if we hope to make our region as powerful as it can be, by leaving no one behind in the area of human and business development, we will all be stronger for it.

On March 27th we’ll share the stories about:

– the intentions and history of why these women founders, why these board members, and first members?

– why we all felt the impetus for needing an organization that would radically shift how we think and act to develop and leverage women of influence in our region,

– why we thought it was important to connect young girls, women, and veterans (male and female alike) with each other who have much to share in terms of wisdom and perspective, and to help lead the way through collaboration – to increase efforts to fund and support female start-ups, to better leverage the collective strengths of all the women of our region, to focus on developing scholarship and investment funds especially focused on women-owned businesses and start-ups (especially those in the growth sectors of our region), and more.

We plan to work with every person, organization, and existing chamber who is willing to as an ally, a collaborator, a partner, and as a gap-filler – to help increase our collective ability to develop young girls and women in areas of influence, investment, innovation, higher and public education, and in management and leadership in STEM sectors, creative start-ups, in small businesses–wherever opportunity to advance one’s ability to have significant influence in the community and business may be.

The journey is just unfolding, and so we invite all through our open doors to come to listen to our ideas and passionate framework for a platform of influential action. Share yours. See what can come of that kind of working together. We are committed to delivering relevant, effective, resource-efficient, and catalyzing programs and services. Let’s see what we can do together!

We look forward to your engagement!

The Board