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There is much descriptive research about women leaders, but very little research exploring why there are so few women on boards and leading Fortune 500 companies. In order to be most effective in our goal of advancing women at these levels, we must have a better understanding of the barriers that women face.

Database of Women Directors
The Kellogg Center for Executive Women houses a database of women who are pursuing membership on Fortune 1000 boards. The database is comprised of women who have completed the Women's Director Development Program and wish to have their names submitted to board placement firms, companies, and the Kellogg Network of Corporate Governance. By making this database available to carefully selected corporations and search firms, we aid both our program alumnae and those in need of exceptional director candidates.

Business Cases

Business Cases Featuring Female Protagonists
Business school cases currently utilized in the classroom (both MBA and Executive Programs) reflect an under-representation of women on Boards of Directors, as CEOs and in senior officer positions. The predominant portrayal of men in top management positions impresses a subconscious belief that women should not be in senior levels. In an effort to change this, the Center fosters the writing of new business cases with female protagonists to use in the classroom. Copies of these cases may be purchased by contacting the Kellogg Center for Executive Women.

Entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing, Operations, Strategy
Sara Lee: A Tale of Another Turnaround
By James B. Shein and Loredana Yamada, 2005

Sara Lee Corporation's acquisition binge in the 1980s and 1990s left the company with a portfolio of vastly different businesses operating independently of one another. It had experienced rapid top-line growth, but at the same time cash flows had declined. Sara Lee ignored both internal and external warning signs until a major transformation plan became necessary. This case examines the company's multiple turnaround attempts. The learning objective of the case is to analyze "early stage" turnaround efforts by examining how the company found itself in decline, evaluating its attempts to improve its performance, and assessing the turnaround plan.

Entrepreneurship, Organizational Behavior
Look Before You Leap: Considering a Job Offer With an Early-Stage Company
By Steven Rogers, Sachin Waikar and Scott Whitaker, 2007

In the fall of 2007 a senior director of product marketing at Qwest in Denver, Colorado, gets an offer to work for an entrepreneurial high-growth venture. The vision is for greater wealth, accelerated business opportunity, more thrill on the job, and faster path to leadership by pursuing a position with a start-up firm. Kiva Allgood has management responsibility in her current position (e.g., manages a high-budget portfolio), with compensation of $145,000 in salary and incentive bonuses up to 100% of base salary. She realizes that she is not prepared for the negotiation because she has only negotiated job offers within large firms. She needs to know what many of these entrepreneurial finance terms mean and to understand whether she is being offered terms and amounts commensurate with the value she feels she will bring to the entrepreneur.

She also needs to understand her opportunity cost and the expected value of her options: staying with the current job, starting her own venture, or taking this offer at the entrepreneurial venture.

She had no idea there were also so many additional, non-financial factors to take into consideration. With her future on the line, she needs to work through the numbers fast. The entrepreneur gave her five days to come back with a counter offer, which he considered a generous amount of time.

In evaluating these questions, students will take Allgood’s point of view. The case is based on a real job offer to a real person named Kiva Allgood. The entrepreneur and his firm are fictitious in order to heighten the issues in this situation.

 

Copyright 2005, Center for Executive Women, Kellogg School of Management