A photo of two people holding hands, representing the #GetOnBoard Awards
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash
News Briefs

How Women Lead Announces Winners of #GetOnBoard Diversity Awards

Merline Saintil, Bumble Inc. and Nasdaq took home high honors for 2021.

How Women Lead recently named its annual winners for its #GetOnBoard Awards. This is the fifth year the organization has recognized people and companies for their impactful work creating more equity for women in the workplace. How Women Lead is the fast-growing national organization of top executive women focused on achieving equity for women in the workplace, investment, philanthropy and all aspects of life and career,

Merline Saintil, Bumble Inc. and Nasdaq were honored for their efforts during How Women Lead’s #GetOnBoard weeklong summit of advocacy and action to catapult fearless women leaders into board seats.

The 2021 #GetOnBoard honorees are:

Fearless Leader Award – Merline Saintil

Merline Santil received this year’s Fearless Leader Award. The award honors a woman whose service on corporate boards has moved the needle for other women on boards by recruiting other women board directors, serving in a leadership role on a critical board committee or board chair and is a promoter of women on boards and in executive leadership.

Santil, board director for Rocket Lab, TD SYNNEX, GitLab Inc. and Banner Bank, is a highly sought-after advisor on enterprise risks, technology trends, innovation and strategy, among other mission-critical topics. She is passionate about coaching emerging leaders and supporting women and girls in leadership and technology.

“Merline is single-handedly working to get at least 50 women of color named to corporate boards,” said Julie Castro Abrams, CEO of How Women Lead. “Her tireless work to raise the awareness of how important diverse boards are to overall performance and corporate governance and future growth is breaking down barriers for talented, qualified women to join corporate board rooms so they can make a demonstrable difference for those companies.”

Previous winners of the Fearless Leader Award for the #GetOnBoard Awards are Magdalena Yesil, Anita Sands, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and Elena Gomez.

Leading the Way Award – Bumble Inc.

This award is for the company taking the lead in the US with gender diversity in the boardroom. The company must be setting an example for other companies to follow. Bumble Inc. is 2021’s honoree for the Leading the Way Award. Bumble Inc. is the parent company that operates Badoo and Bumble apps. These are two of the world’s largest dating and networking apps with millions of users worldwide. The company’s mission is to create a world where all relationships are healthy and equitable. This year, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble’s founder and CEO, became the youngest woman to take her company public.

“Bumble Inc. prides itself on its core value of empowering women from the boardroom to the people who count on it to make healthy and equitable relationships,” said Castro Abrams. “Leading by example and demonstrating the power of a diverse board, Bumble Inc.’s board of directors is 70%+ women all chosen for their expertise, talent, network and contribution, as all boards should be.”

Previous winners of the Leading the Way Award are Redwood Trust, First Republic Bank, Stitch Fix and CalPERS.

Disruptor Award – Nasdaq

Nasdaq is the 2021 winner of the Disruptor Award. This award recognizes an individual activist or company that is finding innovative ways to change the landscape for gender diversity on boards, create systemic change and has made a bold action to change the trajectory of women on boards. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved Nasdaq’s new rule this year to encourage greater board diversity by requiring standardized board diversity disclosures for Nasdaq-listed companies.

“Nasdaq’s move is a historic bold step in the right direction that will have a dramatic impact on board composition and representation,” added Castro Abrams. “The diversity disclosure is acting as a jolt to the system to bring more talented, qualified impact-focused women onto corporate boards, which will benefit all companies, their employees and shareholders.”

Previous Disruptor Award Winners are Equilar, BlackRock, Sallie Krawcheck, AllRaise and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

About How Women Lead

How Women Lead is a national organization of top executive women focused on activating their individual and collective power to achieve equity for women by driving representation and opportunities across all aspects of life and career. Founded in 2011, the organization fights for change at all levels by affecting systems reform, mobilizing a movement, offering training and providing access to opportunities. Now more than 14,000 strong, the organization has expanded the breadth and depth of its impact nationally. How Women Lead’s philanthropic arm, How Women Give, provides grants and invaluable connections to women’s and girls’ organizations on the frontlines of today’s most critical issues. And its sister organization, How Women Invest, invites women to play big and powerfully in ventures, making meaningful investments and propelling high-potential, women-led companies forward at scale. Learn more here.

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