Caption L-R: Ed Thomas, Lucinda Stewart, Hope Cochran, Stewart Landefeld at the 2017 opening event for onBoarding Women)
Today Madrona is joining Deloitte, Perkins Coie, and Spencer Stuart in supporting onBoarding Women, an important program to increase the number of women on corporate boards. This Seattle based, forward-thinking organization started two years ago with the mission to increase the number of women on public company boards. There are many studies that show that companies with women in executive and board positions perform better for shareholders. Nationally the percentage of women on public company boards is 19.5%. Washington state, despite making recent gains, still lags behind. onBoarding Women aims to change that and has already had success, graduating 35 women from the program and helping to place graduates on boards for companies such as Washington Federal.
As venture capitalists with more than 60 companies in our portfolio, we serve on a lot of boards – from early startups to late stage to the newly public. We see the value in developing a diverse and independent board that can guide a young company through the choppy waters of developing a product, finding a market, building partnerships, and nurturing customers. Our portfolio company, Redfin, recently went public and is a leader in creating diversity in the board room with women representing 25% of their current board. In July of this year, Redfin, announced a pledge to diversify startup boards that Madrona and another Redfin investor Greylock Partners supported.
It is in this light of helping our companies be the best they can be and supporting the broader Washington business community, that we are very excited to join onBoarding Women. Hope Cochran, a Venture Partner with Madrona and experienced executive as well as private and public company board member, will be a mentor, and our whole team will be working with the new onBoarding Women cohort to build a strong pool of women who can help greater Seattle companies rise to the next level.
We are excited to work with the leadership of Ed Thomas – Deloitte, Lucinda Stewart – Spencer Stuart, and Stewart Landefeld – Perkins Coie to continue to bring more women into the board room – be that public or private!