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Women in corporate boardrooms: The missing link to increased profits
Karen DeCrow examines the chain of events that prevents women from being recruited to corporate boards.
From the Post-Standard:
Perhaps the low number of women on boards — which operate far out of the sunshine — and the slow rate of change may be because it is assumed that board members should be experienced CEOs and chief financial officers. Not many women have held these positions.
It sounds like the Catch-22 that kept women from so many professions. Years ago, NASA had the requirement that, to be an astronaut, you had to have been a fighter pilot. But women had not been allowed to be fighter pilots.
What a provocative visit to NASA, what a runaround, a small group of us from the National Organization for Women had. It took forever to schedule. They were too busy with outer space to meet with us. Finally, the meeting was set in May 1974.
When we arrived, we were told that the administrator who was to meet with us had to fly away someplace. After coming to Houston from all over the country, we agreed to meet with someone else.
What did we demand? Affirmative action. The nervous official seemed convinced that we represented millions of women. NASA agreed to advertise for astronauts in publications directed especially to women.
Affirmative action worked.
Sally Ride, who would become the first American woman in space, was a graduate physicist at Berkeley when she read that NASA was seeking women for the space program.