6sense, a revenue intelligence platform, and Athena Alliance, a community platform for women, banded together to address boardroom diversity with women in marketing. The pair launched "The Empowered CMO Board Book” aimed at propelling female Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to leadership positions.
The book provides venture capital, private equity and corporate board executives with a list of more than 60 women CMOs who are qualified to serve on boards. With thousands of board members serving Fortune 1000 companies, just 26 of them (or 3%) are marketing professionals according to Spencer Stuart and only 14% of total board positions are held by women.
During the 2021 Empowered CMO Retreat, Latané Conant, CMO at 6sense, announced a commitment to drive the advancement of distinguished women CMOs by creating opportunities. 6sense invested in more than 100 women CMOs to join the Athena Alliance to accelerate their board readiness and develop their board candidate resumes for inclusion in the “Board Book.”
"We know that boards with more women and more market experts lead more successful companies, yet boards are still largely homogenous,” said Conant, exclusively to Demand Gen Report. “I often hear that it’s too hard to find women and marketers who are ready to serve on boards, but I believe it’s simply a matter of not being connected to the right people. So 6sense and the Athena Alliance partnered to champion women market experts who are qualified, motivated and eager to serve on boards. We’ve mentored these impressive women and gathered their bios into a book that will make it easy for boards to find directors who bring both market perspective and demographic diversity.”
Research shows that diverse boards foster more impressive innovation and there’s a positive correlation between women’s presence on boards and greater financial returns. Unfortunately, company leaders and investors struggle to connect with experienced women candidates who both increase a board’s diversity and bring market expertise. This collaboration seeks to bridge this gap by making it easy for seasoned women marketing leaders and those filling board seats to find one other.
DGR also sat down for an exclusive interview with, Kate Hammitt, Chief Marketing Officer at Splash, to discuss the major shifts in women’s leadership and CMO tenure. Hammitt aims to rewrite the sales and marketing playbooks to make a real difference for women in today’s climate.
“The number of women CMOS is currently surging, which is exciting,” said Hammitt. “We now have the majority with 51% being women. However, shifts that still need to occur are more holistic around women's leadership. Women getting into the CMO seat makes a lot of sense to me given the dominance of women in marketing over time. But how do we get to that next level within the boardroom? When you still look at board seats in the US, only about 14% are held by women. Looking at business outcomes that are generated by having females on the board you’ll see improved financial performance, shareholder value, accounting returns and returns on sales. While there are major shifts, there's still more room for growth in terms of getting to the levels of CEOs and beyond.”
There has been plenty of advancements for women in leadership roles, but this is just the beginning. Unfortunately, there are still more strides to take to reach the full potential of gender equality in the workplace.
“The World Economic Forum said it's going to take 132 years from now to close the gender gap,” exclaimed Hammitt. “Mothers are being paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. American mothers spend more time today on childcare and domestic work than moms in the 1960s, even though they're more likely to be in the labor force. Daycare bills are greater than the cost of an in-state College tuition. The childcare challenges parents experience today, especially in light of Covid and a remote-first environment, in trying to re-architect what that village looks like and how to get through this crisis because it really is a crisis.”