It’s no secret that the nation’s corporate landscape is lacking in gender diversity. Only 11.8% of executive officer positions in the 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts are held by women. With women occupying just under half of the nation’s workforce and earning over half of the nation’s bachelor’s degrees, this 11.8% is a problem — which is why Sperry Van Ness International Corporation President and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo testified at the Massachusetts State House this past Tuesday, July 21st in support of Bill S1007: Resolutions to encourage equitable and diverse gender representation on the boards of companies in the Commonwealth.
As one of several prominent Massachusetts CEOs testifying at this hearing, Maggiacomo used his own experience in the SVNIC leadership ranks to help illustrate his point that gender diversity should be a priority on all executive boards. Following his 2013 realization that SVNIC needed more diversity in its leadership, Maggiacomo restructured his executive team to include more women. This restructuring was an obvious success, changing the company for the better. “We now operate as a think tank for new ideas… we are engaging in healthy debate, and our profitability has increased by more than 100% and we now rank as one of the largest real estate services firms in the United States,” said Maggiacomo during his testimony.
In his SVNIC example, Maggiacomo proved that gender diversity in corporate leadership is more than just a nice thing to do. “There is irrefutable, verifiable evidence that women in greater proportions in companies improves decision-making and shareholder value,” said Maggiacomo. “It’s not just my opinion. Diversity and gender balance are the engines of innovation, and we’re doing everything in our power to ensure that this structure remains in place; and I encourage the passing of the resolution that encourages companies in the Commonwealth to do the same.”
The resolution, which passed favorably following the hearing, states that all Massachusetts companies will be expected to adopt policies and practices designed to increase the gender diversity in their boards of directors and senior management groups, as well as set goals by which to measure their progress.
Maggiacomo was no stranger to this issue prior to his testimony. As the leader of the 50/50 by 2020 campaign, he advocates for gender balance in corporate leadership. This campaign aims to establish a 50/50 mix of men and women within leadership roles by the year 2020.
Gender diversity and equality will not happen overnight. But we are one step closer thanks to Maggiacomo’s efforts and the favorable outcome of Bill S1007.
UPDATE: S1007 has passed the Massachusetts senate and is headed to the house.
To read more about Sperry Van Ness® and diversity, download our report here.