Bringing Women on Board Will Ensure Better Business
The key message from speakers in Cannes at this year’s MIPTV Women In Tech & Media Breakfast VIP event: “when it’s bad for women, it’s bad for business.”
Moderator Catherine Warren, president of Canada-based media, entertainment and technology consultancy FanTrust, said the event aimed to answer why women are underrepresented on the boards of media and tech companies.
“We have to shatter the glass ceiling with the digital hammer,” she said.
Panelist Marci Weisler, co-founder of US-based SWSI Media, said the company was launched to help female entrepreneurs access finance.
“There are very few women venture capitalists. Also, there are several companies targeting women consumers that don’t have women on their board of directors,” Weisler said.
“These companies have been known to go astray because the board doesn’t have anyone who understands their targeted audience.”
Sarah Wood, co-founder and chief operating officer of UK-based international social-video advertising company Unruly, believes “diversity is the driver of disruption and innovation.”
To that end, the company holds a once-a-quarter hackathon to work on a specific project to enable everyone to “feel included”.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the global accountancy giant, there is a concerted effort to monitor how women are faring from the moment they join the company and through their careers there, said Vicki Huff, PwC’s global leader, technology, communications, entertainment & media in the US.
France is one of the major economies that have pledged to improve the role of women in major corporations by 2017, Orla Noonan, Groupe AB’s managing director and independent director of French telecommunications giant Illiad, reminded the audience.
“By 2017, women must represent 40% of the major companies’ boards. It is not a choice. Kicking and screaming, we shall drag women on to the boards.”