In the June 18th issue of Fortune magazine, Liz Dolan, CMO of Fox International Channels, publicly resigned from the board of QuickSilver,Inc. because the board members fired the CEO of the company and brought in his successor without informing her. Among the chief duties of Board members is hiring/firing the CEO. It is no doubt one of the most significant actions a board can take. Excluding members of the board in such a critical decision is unprecedented.
The only woman on the Quicksilver Board, Liz thought long and hard about making her protest public. Because only a fraction of the board seats of publicly traded companies are held by women, she was concerned that her action would be used as yet another excuse not to recruit women to corporate boards.
However the egregiously underhanded action of her fellow board members demanded that she come forward and state her case as a woman and a member of a Quicksilver's board. In her statement she scoffs at the excuse made by others on the board for excluding her from the decision Formerly, as CMO of NIKE she had worked with the Quicksilver CEO whom the board fired. They told her they feared her prior professional relationship with him would make it difficult for her to be objective. Women are "so emotional" don't you know!!
In the ground-breaking book," How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors" by Betsy
Berkhemer, many of the sixty board members interviewed stated that as a single female on a corporate board they felt invisible and were regularly ignored or "talked over" by their male counterparts at meetings. The book concluded that it takes three women members to make their views, ideas and concerns heard and respected.
This latest insult to professional women underscores the odds they face in reaching the very top rung of the corporate ladder. But it's Quicksilver's loss. Liz Dolan is among the best corporate marketing executives in the country, starting at NIKE and becoming Chief Marking Officer at a very young age, a title she also held OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network and now at Fox. She is also a founder of a long-running radio show called The Satellite Sisters