Women on Boards, global update

Ms.Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire: “Research shows that companies perform significantly better and are more profitable and the workforce is better engaged when at least 3 women are on the board.”

Ms.Inga M.W. Nyhamar: “Don’t pay that much attention to what people think of you. You have to disprove them by your own work. Take the chance!”

Ms.Ann Cairns: “If you have more than 30% of any minority in a room, that minority ceases to be a minority, they become part of the whole.”

Ms.Tracy Gopal: “What is going to get measured gets results. So, if we measure the amount of boards, we’ll get more women on boards, if we measure women in the executive suites, we’ll get more women in the executive suites.” (34:48)

ベッツィー・バークヘンマー・クレデア氏Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire

50/50 Women on Boards  CEO
Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search CEO

インガ・M. W.・ニーハマル氏Inga M. W. Nyhamar


Tracy Gopal, founder of Third Arrow Strategies and the Japan Board Diversity Network (JBDN), facilitated today’s roundtable discussion. Today’s panelists were Inga Nyhamar, Norway’s Ambassador to Japan; Ann Cairns, Global Chair of the 30% Club and Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard; and Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, the CEO of 50/50 Women on Boards and CEO of Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search.

Ms. Berkhemer-Credaire kicked off the discussion with an update on board diversity in the United States, including statistics that illustrate the slow, yet definite progress on with placing women on boards. Along with Ms. Gopal, she spoke about the development of targets and quotas and provided historical and contemporary examples from the United States, Japan, and Norway. Finally, she shared specific tools and tested strategies that will increase board diversity and gender equality in the business world in the years to come. Ms. Cairns described the 30% Club, the meaning of the number, and how it is making a difference globally.

Ambassador Nyhamar told a fascinating story on the historical Scandinavian drive for gender equality and diversity. She stated some shocking statistics that showed just how progressive the Scandinavian pursuit for equality really is. She further delved into the history of the gender quota in Norway, how the country has upheld the law over the decades, and how business society has changed as a result. Noting that “quotas are not silver bullets,” Ambassador Nyhamar shared some key insights on affirmative action, the role of education, and factors of business culture that prevents the rise of more women CEOs and board members. To close the roundtable discussion, Ms. Cairns spoke about the importance of culture in the development of a more equal society.

アン・ケアンズ氏Ann Cairns


トレーシー・ゴパール氏Tracy Gopal

サード・アロー・ ストラテジーズ 創設者 兼 代表

The Q&A discussion was especially lively and illuminating. The enthusiastic participants asked a variety of questions ranging from how to diversify their start-up companies to what diversity looks like in today’s political environment. Ms. Berkhemer-Credaire offered more methods and tips to help women to reach higher positions that apply to both business and politics. Ambassador Nyhamar described the many benefits reaped by Norwegian business culture when women started taking on more roles, which was quite inspiring to the participants who are mapping out their own future roles in business. Ms. Cairns gave some valuable advice on networking opportunities that was well received.

One young businessman from Japan asked for and received advice on how to give women in his company more opportunities to succeed both at work and home. Lastly, in the context of Japan where some women culturally turn down positions of power, advice was given on what steps women can take to become more comfortable climbing the corporate ladder.

Hearing such powerful stories of success from these influential women reminded us all of the importance of striving for diversity. Their participation in this roundtable demonstrates that we are headed in the right direction. It was a positive and empowering roundtable discussion and the panelists’ closing remarks were just as inspiring!