Facebook’s all-male board of directors has been the recent target of women’s group Ultraviolet, which last week launched an anti-sexism campaign against the social media giant. The group, which describes itself as “a new women’s group fighting to expand women’s rights and combat sexism everywhere” is pressuring Facebook to place at least one woman on its board of directors before its initial public offering.
Ultraviolet argues that the majority of Facebook users (58%) are women and therefore at least one woman should have a seat on the board. The most prominent and obvious choice for this role would be Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Ultraviolet Co-Founder Nita Chaudhary said: “The fact that a company as large as Facebook with a massive global reach does not have a single woman on its board is nothing short of shameful. Facebook owes it success to and makes a ton of money off of its women users. Women are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the sharing that happens on the site. In addition, women account for more than 70% of daily fan activity on the site, which is a huge source of revenue for the company.
“Facebook has a problem, and it needs to solve it before it goes public. Mark Zuckerberg should live up to his company’s mission statement and appoint at least one woman to the board today.”
Last week Ultraviolet sent an email to its 300,000 members encouraging them to sign a petition for the appointment of at least one woman on its board. Since the launch of the campaign 50,000 people have signed it.
In an email starting Dear Friend Ultraviolet explained:
Not having a single woman on Facebook’s board makes no sense.
Here’s why: Companies with women on the board make more money. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between boards with female representation and increased returns on sales, investments and equity.  And companies with women on the board function better. Studies have also indicated that women improve the ways that boards function and make decisions.
Women are also widely seen as the future of the tech industry. Take Pinterest as an example, they’ve only been around for a year and are already one of the ten largest social network services. They credit their meteoric growth to their 97% female users.
With a white, male board, Facebook is behind the curve.
This problem is easily solvable–there are countless qualified women, and it’s smart business to have women on Facebook’s board. But Facebook isn’t going to act unless there’s an outcry.
We’re organizing a big delivery of these petitions next week and a major media campaign to go with it. But we need your voice with us for this to work. Please sign today: http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/facebook/
Thanks for speaking out,
–Nita and Shaunna, UltraViolet
Recently Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of Ultraviolet added: “Facebook makes a ton of money off women users who drive the majority of activity on the site. And studies show that companies with women on the board perform better than companies that exclude women from those positions.”
Do you agree with Ultraviolet? And would you/have you signed the campaign?