Dear Mr. Zuckerberg: Where Are the Women?

No Women on Facebook Board

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Congratulations are definitely in order. That S-1 filing for Facebook’s IPO was filled with impressive numbers: $3.7 billion in revenue last year, $1 billion in earnings, and $3.9 billion in the bank account. There was one number that really caught my eye though:

Zero.

Zero is the number of women listed on Facebook’s Board of Directors.

What I want to know is why?

Many studies show that companies with high percentages of women on the Board perform far better than companies without women on the Board. In fact, the Fortune 500 companies with the highest percentage of female directors have a 62% higher return on invested capital than companies with the lowest percentages of female directors, according to one article outlining the business case for women on Boards.

Surely you know the value of women in leadership positions though since Sheryl Sandberg has helped elevate Facebook to unprecedented success. Have you asked her what she thinks about women being shut out of the Boardroom at Facebook? I’d also like to remind you that women make up 58% of your users.

In your letter submitted with the IPO filing, you said your goal is ” to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future.” I challenge you to walk the walk and amplify the voices of women and other minorities by fighting to elect them to Facebook’s Board of Directors. We can’t transform society and leave women behind.

Sincerely,

Natalie MacNeil, SheTakesOnTheWorld.com

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11 thoughts on “Dear Mr. Zuckerberg: Where Are the Women?

  1. Fantastic post! As one of the most influential companies in our era, this is sad to see. 

    PS. Love your site.

  2. My concern is, do you just start removing men from positions
    because they’re not women?

     I hear this question asked a lot and I have heard explanations that range from “it was
    unintentional” to “women professionals just didn’t want something
    unstable and take the risk when we were a startup”, but my question is how
    do you think we fix the issue without punishing (qualified) men for being a
    man?
    Comment syndicated on HuffPost

  3. Excellent post Natalie! And very interesting… You would think that a company whose audience is 58% women would WANT female input and representation on their Board of Directors!! Shame on you Mark Zuckerberg.

  4. Natalie, Thank you for speaking truth, not only in the case of Mr. Zuckerberg’s board, but many others worldwide. As I mentioned on FB, if companies truly wish to realize their potential they must begin allowing women to bring their greatest assets to the boardroom. My question is, what is really holding companies back from creating equality at the highest levels?

  5. Thank you Natalie. It’s truly astonishing to read about a stated goal: ” to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future,” and then realize by “everyone,” he doesn’t mean women.

  6. Those with white male boards could be hiring inferior talent because of gender or race, thus limiting their returns. It might also mean that companies that are leaders want to be perceived as leaders, so they discriminate against white men. Both of these views are racist and sexist and help establish gender gaps. Companies should be blind to everything but technical ability, ethics and communication skills.

    To me, sex is so 1970. I mean really, if you have a company full of men that were hired because of their sex, the company is going to flounder. First off it is not ethical so it won’t attract top talent. Second it’s not promoting top talent, so they are going to leave to another company.
    However we are talking about a field that is traditionally dominated by men, not because they are more capable, but because they have more interest. I don’t remember too many programmers growing up that were women. In fact, it was 100% boys. Even now, I know of only a few versus thousands of men.

    In Ontario Canada, we are admitting that years of pro-women programs have left boys behind. They were doing 25% better than girls a couple decades ago. Today they are 25% behind. There has to be a stop to pro-women and pro-non-white-man programs. White boys are growing up being told that everything will be handed to them so stop trying. It’s simply a lie created by these other ‘minority’ groups who are lobbying for their own special interests. It is racist, sexist, ridiculous and misleading – nothing was ever handed to white man despite how commonly that has been said. White men without skills or business connections have always lived in poverty. Telling white boys anything else is not right. They need to try hard to keep competitive.

    Having said that, I find it hard that Facebook hasn’t found any top talent that are women. I’m surrounded by amazing professionals of all races and sex, so it is odd. But then I suppose the more established talent in silicon valley is predominantly male. That will change of course – take a look at GetSatisfaction etc.

  7. I have to agree with Basil. Personally I think the question should be posed as a point of curiosity… “Why are there no women?” period. Not followed by ridicule and condemnation. Have there been women refused positions? Or did none show an interest before it became worth billions? Taking a stance solely based on the arguement of “minority equality” is not ethical nor is it always the right business decision. Women have to earn their roles just the same as men and so long as they are treated fairly and evaluated on the same basis of credentials then I say let the best person win. So not “shame on Mark” …. How’s about starting with a simple “we’re curious, what’s the scoop?” & then take the time to LISTEN.

  8. You go girl!! What’s up with all the FB man love? For such a young progressive company THIS should not be an issue. Makes me even more driven to see women flourish and hold posts that  truly equal talent, drive and experience.

  9. Doesn’t he realize that women are the primary users of his creation?  Perhaps not.  Did he know that companies with women in upper level management and at the top are more profitable than those without women?    Talk about an old boy’s network.

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