Honeywell was recently honored as one of only 16 publicly traded New Jersey companies who have achieved significant board gender diversity by having three or more women on their Board of Directors. The award was presented by the Executive Women of New Jersey during the “A Seat at the Table: Celebrating Women & Board Leadership” event held in New Brunswick, NJ. Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) is an executive women’s network in New Jersey that supports and showcases the advancement of women to top leadership positions and promotes gender diversity in the boardroom.
The award recognizes Honeywell’s commitment to diversity and inclusion – in opportunity, in employment, and supporting programs and initiatives – and understanding that placing women on corporate boards is good for business. A September 2014 report by Credit Suisse examined 2,360 global companies and found that companies with women directors outperformed companies without women directors in a number of areas, including return on equity, growth, and price book value.
Honeywell’s board gender diversity achievement is noted within the “A Seat at the Table: Celebrating Women & Board Leadership” report, which was produced by EWNJ in collaboration with PwC. The report draws on PwC’s analysis of 2015 data on women in New Jersey’s public corporate boards and includes statistics on the representation of women on the boards of New Jersey’s 99 publicly-held companies in the Russell 3000, and references the women in CEO and other executive officer positions. Honeywell’s Board of Directors includes three women: Linnet Deily, Grace Lieblein, and Robin Washington. Together the women comprise 23% of Honeywell’s board, which surpasses the average representation of women on Fortune 500 boards (17%) and New Jersey companies (15%).
The event’s keynote speaker, Susan Story, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Water, gave an inspiring speech on “Advancing Women’s Leadership,” stating, “I think a huge mistake companies make is that they say ‘We need a woman,’ or ‘We need a minority.’ No. You say, ‘We need this skill set, and we’re going to do everything we can to find a great diverse pool of candidates so that we find the best person we can.’ Otherwise you are sending the message that you have to compromise if you want a woman or a minority, and that is just not true.”