O'Reilly logo

Words of Wisdom from Women to Watch by Business Insurance

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 9Women on Boards

Terrie Pohjola

Board Member, Thrivent Trust Company

Women have successfully chipped away at the glass ceiling for the past few decades. However, there is one area where progress has been more limited—female membership on corporate boards of directors.

Board gender diversity is generally defined as women representing 30 to 40 percent of outside board members. I have been fortunate to have career experience with two great companies that have already achieved this parity: SECURA Insurance and Thrivent Trust Company.

At SECURA Insurance, 30 percent of the board members are women. According to David Gross, SECURA President and CEO:

The role of women has become so critically important in all aspects of our business. We look at gender diversity at all levels, from our board of directors, to my executive team, to our leadership team, and for all associates. We currently have 30 percent of our board members who are women, and although we do not manage to a percentage, we know that this diversity helps us so greatly as a board and as a company.

At Thrivent Trust Company, 50 percent of the outside directors are female. According to Jesse Ostrom, Thrivent Trust Company chairman of the board, president, and CEO:

While I don’t naturally see or define board members by their gender, as I reflect on the topic, I realize that given the collaborative nature of the board environment, this balance of female representation on the Trust Company board has served us well. ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required