Early stage companies tend to be innovative, entrepreneurial and willing to take risks. The founders of these companies often view a corporate Board as the construct that comes in to stall their innovative spirit; the equivalent of your parents accompanying you on your first date.
Activist proposals have long been viewed as something to resist, even fear, but a new strain of thinking has become part of the debate. Boards are now looking at activist themes to inspire their own actions – as both an offense and defense strategy.
Boards can’t just add one woman and expect real change in the way they operate. You need at least three female directors, a critical mass that Egon Zehnder calls the “magic number” in its 2018 Global Board Diversity Tracker. With at least two female colleagues, women are more likely to speak up and be heard.