The Women’s Forum of New York honored Williams at the third biennial Breakfast of Corporate Champions for achieving at least 20 percent female representation on its board.
“I’m proud to see Williams recognized for the value we place on gender diversity in the boardroom,” said Frank T. MacInnis, chairman of the Williams board of directors. “In today’s dynamic business environment, it’s critical that our corporate board be comprised of the highest-caliber professionals who can bring a broad range of perspectives to navigate complex issues and effectively govern the company.”
Williams, which has a representation of 33 percent women on its board, was applauded as a corporate game changer that is making special efforts to advance women in the boardroom. Williams encourages diversity on its board by maintaining a nominating and governance committee that seeks a variety of occupational and personal backgrounds on the board in order to obtain a range of viewpoints and perspectives and to enhance the diversity of the board in such areas as geography, race, gender, ethnicity and age.
The Williams committee routinely evaluates the composition of the board to assess the skills and experience that are currently represented on the board, as well as the skills and experience that the board will find valuable in the future, given the company’s current situation and strategic plans.
“We commend Williams and their work towards achieving a greater gender balance in their boardroom,” said Janice Ellig, co-CEO of Chadick Ellig and chair of the event. “Williams knows that more women on boards is smart business and their success is an inspiration to others.”
The event brought together an audience of over 500, including CEOs and board directors along with business leaders, government officials, thought leaders and influential media in special recognition of forward-thinking companies.
Following the awards presentation, a CEO panel discussion on why and how top U.S. companies should strive for gender parity was conducted and moderated by Judy Woodruff of “PBS NewsHour.” Additionally, this year’s breakfast expanded to include a follow-up symposium co-sponsored by the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board which included moderated sessions by Moira Forbes of ForbesWomen, Cyrus Sanati of Fortune.com and Susanna Schrobsdorff of TIME magazine. The symposium was a true “call to action” for all CEOs, and Nom/Gov Committees to accelerate the number of women into the boardroom by providing insights from the board, Investors and other global influentials.
The symposium closed with a luncheon keynote by Securities and Exchange Commission Chair, Mary Jo White, introduced by Michael Fucci, Chairman of the Board, Deloitte LLP. On-site, the audience of CEOs were also encouraged to nominate women to the Women’s Forum of New York CEO-Sponsored Database, a national database, accessible free of charge to Board Nom/Gov Committees and search firms.