International Research and Practice
Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Val Singh, Ronald J. Burke, Diana Bilimoria and Morten Huse
Chapter 16: ION: Organizational Networking to Harness Local Power for National Impact
Susan M. Adams, Patricia M. Flynn and Toni G. Wolfman INTRODUCTION The status of women in the boardroom and executive suite has remained stagnant for several years. This has occurred in spite of major changes in the corporate governance environment, increased roles of women in the economy, research showing the beneﬁts of diverse boards, and educational and advocacy eﬀorts by organizations dedicated to advancing women to leadership positions. It is in this context that the InterOrganization Network (ION) has emerged as a new force for change. ION is a national organization whose members are executive women’s organizations that share the mission of advancing women to positions of power in the business world, primarily to boards of directors and executive suites. ION’s founders believe that some of the most eﬀective ways to bring about change in the composition of corporate leadership in the United States involve working at the local and regional levels. ION believes that local advocates can more eﬀectively reach (a) the thousands of public and private companies, regardless of size, that play such an important role in the economy and (b) the many accomplished executive and professional women who comprise the talent pool of future business leaders. The organizational model of ION respects the unique attributes and interests of each of its members. It capitalizes on their respective strengths and their political understanding of local areas, and harnesses the resources of the collective to advance their common goal of changing the status of women...
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