GLASS CEILING HASN'T BUDGED FOR WOMEN IN TN BOARDROOMS

THE TENNESSEAN
Mar 29, 2010

 Women continue to be underrepresented on the corporate boards of publicly traded Tennessee companies, and the state lags the rest of the country on this count, with an average 15 percent of board seats held by women, compared with Tennessee’s 8.3 percent. "It's pretty depressing," said CORBETTE DOYLE, lecturer in Organizational Leadership at Vanderbilt University and an expert on gender diversity.

Customers, talent and innovation are at risk if companies don't strive for more diversity at the top, Doyle said. "There is compelling evidence that creativity and innovation is dramatically enhanced when you have different thought processes at the table."

Sometimes women don't advance at work because an all-male nominating committee may have biases. "You tend to pick what you picked before," she said.

At the same time, some women may place limits on themselves, knowing career advancement is difficult, especially if they have children. Thus, senior executives need to allow flexible work schedules to tap into all available talent, Doyle said.