This, in a nutshell, is Facebook’s problem: In a few weeks, when Facebook goes public, it will not have a single woman on its board.
It’s not as if this problem will be solved by adding a single woman to the board. But it’s an important step, and one Mark Zuckerberg should take now.
Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote that part of Facebook's mission is to build tools that will help create the "direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time."
So why doesn’t Zuckerberg doesn't extend this philosophy to the way he runs his own business?
According to Facebook’s own data
, the majority of Facebook users are women--58%. Women are also responsible for 62% of the sharing that happens on the network and make up 71% of the daily fan activity on the site which is a huge source of revenue
for Facebook. Zynga
accounted for $445 million of Facebook's profits last year and boasts 60% female users.
Beyond the fact that Facebook’s success is clearly driven by women, companies with women on the board make more money. Studies
have shown that there is a correlation between boards with female representation and increased returns on sales, investments and equity. And companies with women on the board function better. Studies have also indicated that women improve the ways that boards function and make decisions.
Women are also widely seen as the future of the tech industry. Take Pinterest
as an example, they've only been around for a year and are already one of the ten largest social network services. They credit
their meteoric growth to their 97% female users.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s CFO and a public proponent of women in leadership roles in the corporate sector, has said, when asked about advancements for women in this area, that women ought to be better represented on boards generally. She’s right: The board is a step above staff leadership in the company. That the board will have a tremendous amount of power over a business that grew on the backs of women. Excluding women at this stage, at the highest governing level of the company, is bad for Facebook as a business and for Facebook’s staff.
That's why we joined the Face It campaign and launched a petition to urge Facebook to invite at least one woman to join its board before it goes public. Past experience shows that Facebook cares a lot about its brand and will respond to pressure if enough of us speak out. And together, all of us have proven that when we take action together, we can have a big impact.
This problem is easily solvable for Facebook--there are countless qualified women, and it's smart business to have women on Facebook's board. But Facebook isn't going to act unless there's an outcry.
We're organizing a big delivery of these petitions next week and a major media campaign to go with it.
Here’s a link to sign petition today-- Ultraviolet will deliver your signature along with over 30,000 others to Facebook and the media next week: