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Fireside Chat: Women on boards - what's in it for you?



In 2019, 20.9% of global boards included women directors and 26.1% in the U.S. alone. Currently all S&P 500 boards have at least one female director, although the overall boardroom diversity still leaves women underrepresented. Progress is slow and will take until 2023 before equal gender representation is achieved on Fortune 500 boards.

How important is it to have women on boards? And what's in it for you?

Join a virtual fireside chat with Deborah Theobold and Parna Sarkar-Basu as they explore:

- Deborah's entrepreneurship journey
- The role of women on boards
- The benefit of serving on boards
- Should every company have a board of director
- And more.

Featured Speaker(s)

Deborah Theobold
CEO, Vecna Technologies
Executive Director, Vecna Cares


Deborah has spent 15 years developing and deploying automation solutions to the global health care sector. As the co-founder of Vecna, a leader in health care information technology and robotics, Deborah has positively impacted millions of peoples' lives through innovative new technologies that improve access to and quality of care. Deborah has brought to market QC PathFinder for electronic outbreak surveillance of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and Patient Self Service Tablet/Kiosk, Portal and Mobile solutions. In addition, Vecna’s VGo Telepresence Robot is among a number of tools and products fulfilling Vecna’s goal of better technology for a better world.

In 2009, Deborah established the Vecna Cares Charitable Trust to extend Vecna resources in IP, engineering capacity and programmatic expertise to developing countries and under-served areas. She is the co-chair of MassTLC (Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council) and serves on the board of GRIT (Global Research or Innovation and Technology).

Deborah holds a bachelor of science in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and masters with an emphasis in space robotics from University of Maryland's Space Systems Lab. Deborah is a certified SCUBA Diver Instructor and the proud mother of 5 very active children.

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


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.