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Do Leaders Need A Penis To Be Effective? October 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in People.
45 comments

Last week, I received an invitation to a Leadership Forum from the College of William & Mary.

The College of William & Mary, Wren Building (Wikipedia: in Public Domain)

* * *

Join us for the 2014 McGlothlin Leadership Forum!

Many of us talk about it, Jim McGlothlin does it.

Every year, Jim (W&M ’62, J.D. ’64, LL.D. ’00)  creates a wonderful and vibrant on-campus opportunity for our students to become fully enmeshed in thinking about, and discussing, leadership and what it truly means to be a leader. This yearly opportunity to elevate learning becomes exponentially important for our students – especially as they consider the role they will play in a global marketplace where the impact of business trends, international law and interacting cultural expectations create a constantly changing stage upon which they will be preforming.

It is my hope that you will join our impressive list of speakers, along with Mr. McGlothlin and the deans of our business and laws schools as we engage, as a community, in conversation and thought.

I hope you’ll be there,

Marilyn Ward Midyette
Executive Director of the W&M Alumni Association

The 2014 Forum will be a live Q&A on “The Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership in Our Times.”

The 2014 Fellows will lead the discussion:

Strauss Zelnick
James Sandman
George Tamke
Strauss Zelnick James Sandman George Tamke

When:     2 pm, October 22
Where:    Raymond A. Mason School of Business

Alan B. Miller Hall
101 Ukrop Way
William & Mary campus

Please RSVP to reserve your seat and join the discussion!

“The Leadership Forum will bring William & Mary students and the community in touch with the highest caliber leaders in business and law in our nation. ”

– James W. McGlothlin

* * *

What struck me right away ~> all three Fellows are fellows.  That seems rather skewed.  It is 2014 after all.

Before sending a reply to William & Mary, I checked to see whether previous Fellows were also all fellows.

The 2011 McGlothlin Leadership Forum Fellows:

  • David BoiesChairman and Managing Partner of Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP

The 2012 McGlothlin Leadership Forum Fellows:

The 2013 McGlothlin Leadership Forum Fellows:

  • Sen. Evan Bayh, Partner at McGuireWoods LLP, Senior Advisor at Apollo Global Management, Former United States Senator from Indiana

So there you have it.
One woman.

One woman out of the past twelve fellows.

* * *

Enrollment at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business is close to 50% female:

Full-time undergraduate business majors enrollment: 437
Female: 49 percent
Male: 51 percent

Enrollment at William & Mary’s Law School is 53% female:

661 students
From 47 states, the District of Columbia, and 10 countries
Male/Female ratio: 47%/53%

Despite those numbers, the Leadership Forum Fellows for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 have ALL been fellows . . . except for ONE token female.

* ONE out of 12 is dismal.
* ONE out of 12 is archaic.
* ONE out of 12 is sexist.

I e-mailed my concerns to Laura Doherty, Executive Director of Development & Alumni Relations.

She replied, inter alia:

We have spoken with this year’s Fellows about the need for diversity and are optimistic that they will select their successors for next year’s Forum with this in mind. You see, each year’s Fellows are responsible for recruiting the Fellows for the following year.

That’s unacceptable.

* Allowing Fellows to choose fellows to be next year’s Fellows perpetuates the “Good Old Boy” network.

* Having five men on stage (the Dean, McGlothlin, and 3 male Fellows) for three of the past four years sends a subtle and insidious message to students and attendees that there is no room for women at the table.

It’s 2014. Someone needs to send W&M that memo . . . and circle the date!

Aah . . . that’s better!

What do you think?  Do leaders need a penis to be effective?

Related posts:  From Dicks on the Dais to Dick’s Sporting Goods * Creating Bad Karma (NY Times)