This Initiative is Increasing Female Representation on Madison Business Boards

By Jane Houseal

TEMPO Madison is an invitation-only, peer-to-peer organization that aims to lead, engage and connect local women from diverse backgrounds and experiences to help them succeed. With 230 women, the organization is composed of female executives from around the Madison area.

One of TEMPO Madison’s latest initiatives, Project Reach, is working to increase the number of women serving on corporate and business boards. Launched in 2019 by founding co-chairs Kris Euclide and Kim Sponem, the project recognized a need for more women on boards — and TEMPO Madison was already full of qualified women.

Currently, 20 TEMPO Madison members from a variety of industries are in the Project Reach database, and it’s growing. The Project Reach team connects the women in the database with companies who need to fill corporate and business boards.

“For us, it’s … about having an impact in the community,” says Shana Lewis, current Project Reach co-chair.

Project Reach’s website notes that a Milwaukee Women Inc. study found that it takes “a minimum of three women on a board to maximize the positive impact, yet women and people of color remain largely underrepresented on business boards nationally.”

Echoes co-chair Patti Epstein: “Diversity is good for business — it provides a greater opportunity for a board to reflect the membership of the clientele, and the communities it serves.”

Lewis explains that companies often claim to lack women on their boards because it’s hard to find qualified women for the seats. The Project Reach team hopes the database will serve as a solution.

“ There’s no way that [companies] could say that they couldn’t find a qualified woman, because TEMPO Madison’s database is filled with them,” says Lewis.

 

Read more from our “What Women Want at Work” feature here.

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