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Let’s boycott Facebook this Valentines Day! Facebook shuns women on its Board

Do you heart Facebook?  Many women do it seems – with 58 per cent of its users being women.  That’s no small number when you consider the 800million users on Facebook.

Apparently women spend more time than men making status and profile updates and commenting on others’ posts (I know that’s certainly true of my two sisters and their daughters!!)… and women are running businesses, generating advertising revenue and sharing information on Facebook every second of every minute of every day…

But does Facebook heart women?

Not if its Board of Directors is anything to go by.  In the lead up to its IPO, which will raise an initial $5bn in capital, there’s one glaring omission on its board: women.

There is not one single woman on the Facebook board.  Not one.  None.

For this, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg receives my Ass Of The Week Award

But seriously, what is Facebook thinking?  Or isn’t it’s all-male, investor-community board thinking at all?

In a letter submitted with the IPO filing, Zuckerberg said that the company’s goal is ” to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future.” One wonders how it can do this without engaging with women, and including women on the board??

When it becomes a public company, with the reporting and performance scrutiny that brings, you’d think a gender balanced board would be top of Facebook’s pre-listing prerequisites.  Especially given the Catalyst research findings that Fortune 500 companies with three or more female directors outperformed those with fewer between 2005 and 2009 with on average 43 percent better return on equity.

This oversight, if that’s what it is, is unusual for a company that see itself as a visionary.  In fact it shows some archaic thinking on the part of the Board.

Only 11.3 percent of Fortune 500 companies don’t have a woman on their board. And why didn’t Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and advocate for women in leadership, make it onto the board?  Apart from being Facebook’s highest paid executive, she’s also a Director of Walt Disney Co – a USD75billion company – and recent Co-Chair at Davos, and you’d think she’d have been a good candidate for the Facebook board too.

But Sandberg aside, if Facebook wants women to like it, it needs to show how much it values women, all the way from the top down.

This is bad news.  I’m disappointed and – on behalf of its 464 million female users – I expected more.  If you do too then I suggest you boycott Facebook this Valentines Day and take your love offline… 

I’d lead the charge myself but I’ve already closed my Facebook account…

Your thoughts?

 

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