Stitch Fix, the online personal shopping platform founded by Katrina Lake who is also the company's CEO, raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Benchmark. In addition, Stitch Fix hired Lisa Bougie, former general manager of emerging markets for Nike, as chief merchandising officer; Meredith Dunn, who had been with Stella & Dot, as vice president of styling and Jennifer Olsen, who had been with Crate and Barrel, as as chief marketing officer. See Business Wire.
Cirrus Logic, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRUS), the analog and digital signal processing components company, appointed Christine King to its Board of Directors. Christine is the former CEO of Standard Microsystems Corporation. See Business Wire.
Another suggestion for our "Top 10 Women who use their Power to help other Women List" is Kay Koplovitz. Kay is the Founder of USA Network and a pioneer in cable television, and is one of the Co-Founders of Springboard Enterprises, the organization dedicated to accelerating women entrepreneurs’ access to the equity markets. Since it began in 2000, Springboard has raised nearly "$6 billion in financing, created thousands of new jobs, and generated billions of dollars in annual revenues". That's what I call HELPING OTHER WOMEN. Over 500 women entrepreneurs have participated in the Springboard Accelerators. Kay speaks regularly about how women need to stand up and be heard, and her company is there with the advice on how to do just that. Learn more:
Today’s news is filled with “Power Lists”. American Banker came out with its “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” list for 2013 which was headed by Key Corp CEO, Beth Mooney. American Banker also issued a “25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” list for 2013 which was led by Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of JPMorgan Chase Asset Management. Also in the news was the Fortune list of the “10 Top Women Entrepreneurs” for 2013, led by Sarah Collins, Founder of Natural Balance. This follows Forbes’ famous list of the “Top 100 Women in Power” led by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, which was published in May, 2013.
What is the end game for all these lists? Do they help women get ahead? While the lists are great to garner attention for the women listed which is well deserved, who are the top women that have the most impact helping other women in business? Maybe a list should not be who you think is powerful, but who uses their power to help women get ahead. And there are many who do. Leading a list of “Women who use their Power to help other Women” in my mind would be Drew Faust, President of Harvard University. Her ground breaking efforts with her faculty to help women succeed at Harvard Business School (HBS) gets to the root of the problems women face in the business world and tries to solve them. And what’s even better is that they shared their results!
What was discovered in this amazing effort? One of the important discoveries is that “the issue is complicated”! Leaning in or working harder as some executives have suggested just doesn’t get at how complicated the environment is that surrounds women who want to make it in the business world. Jodi Kantor of the New York Times describes the problems found at HBS in four areas – there was an unexplainable grade gap that goes beyond guys being better at math; there was a wealth gap, with women not getting access to the best paying jobs; there was a social gap where women weren’t sure of the best way to proceed in various situations because they saw no role models; and then there was plain old unrecognized stereotyping, but in ways I didn’t expect, professor to student, student to student , student to professor, and professor to professor.
Drew Faust and her team did what no one has done before. They attacked all problems at once and from more than one direction. The grade gap is a good example of this. There were problems like professors not calling on women, professors forgetting women answered, women afraid to raise their hands, and guys with a lot of experience
taking over the class. Harvard took on each one of these issues in a variety of ways and the grade gap did start to disappear. Harvard demonstrated that while it isn’t easy, these problems can be solved.
We must build on the efforts of Drew Faust and the Harvard Business School faculty to tackle the issues surrounding women in business. Every institution should become familiar with what was done at Harvard. Major companies as well as other schools can benefit from and implement some of these changes which would quickly improve work environments and level the playing field. Drew Faust speaks up for women and uses her power to help them. Who would you put on a list of the “Top 10 Women who use their Power to help other Women”?
Listen to Drew Faust speak about educating women.