2009 WEL Corporate Salute

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 Women Executive Leadership (WEL) Corporate Salute at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. If you think corporate boardrooms are only served by the good ol’ boys club, think again. WEL, a Merit Mile client, recognized the 16 Florida companies that have two or more female directors on their Boards. The event played host to some of the most influential female executives across the state.

In addition to an awards ceremony, WEL shared the detailed findings of their 2008 Florida Census. In collaboration with the University of Miami School of Business, WEL conducts this research every two years. The number of women in executive positions, such as chief executive officer, president or chief financial officer, increased from 39 in 2006 to 49 in 2008. But on corporate boards, only 7.4 percent or 1,276 seats in 2008 were held by women. That’s the same level as a year earlier, but down from 8.7 percent in 2006.

Attendees also had the opportunity to network among their peers and listen-in on insightful commentary from an assortment of guest speakers. In addition to hosting the event and conducting the research, WEL, a non-profit organization, also has a charter that is aimed at delivering qualified women to the corporate executive suite and boardrooms across America. Amidst the omnipresent theme of economic and political change, WEL fits right in — advocating, educating and connecting women with appropriate corporate suitors. It comes as no surprise to this business owner that their pursuits are well organized, timely and very relevant. For more, please visit www.womenexecutiveleadership.com