23Sep

Lesbians Who Tech Summit SF //Jana Rich

Jana Rich, is a talent in own right, even as her main job at Russell Reynolds is to place senior level executives into tech positions. She has spent 18 years working for two of the world’s largest executive search and assessment firms. Since her summit talk, Rich has branched out and has started her own company whereby they partner with the world’s most innovative companies to build the teams that will take them giant leaps forward.
She starts her brief, yet influential talk by sharing that her mission is to get more diversity in executive leadership positions and on company boards. Her mission stems from something she knows to be true, “diverse boards perform better.” Unfortunately, she shares some bleak facts about women on boards, boards that have women on them usually only have one. She notes that there are many factors that hold back progress on adding more women to boards, “last year, only 151 seats on fortune 500 boards turned over. This was a 10-year low.” She says that the key to changing the diversity on boards multifold, we need term limits and we need to expand the size of boards.
Fortunately for the audience, Rich shares some good news, “75% of directors say it is important to add people with technology/digital media expertise to their boards.” Those with digital experience or are digital directors have a higher chance of being asked to join a board than those who don’t. Rich closes her talk by sharing a visual image of women in top digital positions on boards.