Fireside Chat, Virtual. Get on Board: Increasing Diversity In The Board Room

Women make up more than half of the world population and the U.S. workforce. They influence nearly 70% all purchasing decisions, worldwide. Yet, women hold just 16.9% of board seats globally, according to a Deloitte report. Nationally, nearly 80% of capital firms in the U.S. have failed to allow women to represent on the board of portfolio companies. In Massachusetts, women occupy only 39% of corporate board seats and a sparse 34% serve as board chairs, according to an Eos Foundation study.

Yet, studies indicate that diversity in the board room leads to more innovative solutions to complex problems and provide new perspectives that broaden the insights of all members. Why then, do women remain vastly underrepresented on corporate boards?

During this fireside chat, Parna and Barbara will cover:

- The function of a corporate board
- Why is it important to have women on boards NOW as companies plan for post-COVID-19 recovery
- Benefits of gender inclusivity on a corporate board
- How to achieve success as a board member or director.

Featured Speaker(s)

Barbara Clarke
The Impact Seat

Barbara Clarke is founder and president of The Impact Seat. Barbara is an angel investor and venture capitalist working nationally and internationally.

She advises top teams on business processes and access to capital, and she collaborates with impact investing networks globally.

Barbara serves on the board of directors of Portfolia, Inc an innovative fintech company disrupting venture capital. She also serves on the board of directors of Founder First Capital Partners which invests in small and medium sized businesses led by underrepresented founders.

Prior to these roles, she spent over a decade in management consulting (KPMG, PwC), including international appointments. She earned a BA from Tufts University in Quantitative Economics and a MA in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University.

Parna Sarkar-Basu
Founder, Brand and Buzz Marketing
V.P. Brand Marketing

A tech evangelist, Parna Sarkar-Basu serves as a strategic advisor to transformational leaders and technology pioneers, and helps them launch and reinvent companies. Her expertise includes changing market perception, building market relevance, corporate (re)-positioning and new market entry as well as helping companies raise funds and navigate the digital era.

Recipient of multiple awards, Parna has been instrumental in propelling tech companies into innovation leaders in highly competitive markets, including artificial intelligence, enterprise software, storage systems, robots, consulting services and manufacturing.

A Forbes contributor, Parna writes and speaks on a range of topics, including cognitive robotics, innovation for social good, digital transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) and impact on the workforce, and marketing trends.

A champion of STEM initiatives, Parna builds and supports programs to inspire women in technology and future innovators. Parna is the V.P. of Marketing for WITI (Women in Technology International), a leading advocate of innovation, inclusivity and STEM. She also serves on various boards including WITI Boston and American Marketing Association Boston.

Meeting Notes

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