Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Michelle Obama yesterday spoke out to support the high number of unemployed female veterans. Read on to hear from one vet who reminds us of the essential skills women learn on active duty that give them a competitive edge in the workplace. Have a great Wednesday!
• A bright spot for female directors. Women still comprise only 15.8% of S&P 1500 boards. Yet if you look at the companies with a female CEO, 54% of them have at least three women board directors. Whoever said sisterhood is dead clearly needs to take a closer look at the numbers. WSJ
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Former Yahoo CEO: Do less, network more. Carol Bartz, along with Intel Capital vice president Lisa Lambert, think women need to remember that success doesn’t have everything to do with the hours you spend at your computer. Failing to network, an activity that women often neglect, can be very damaging to careers. Fortune
• ‘You carry while you climb.’ Keybank CEO Beth Mooney, the first female CEO of a top-20 bank, is committed to hiring more women into her bank to make her team as diverse and successful as possible, she said at a New York state banking conference. When her team presents her a list of all-male candidates for an open position, she’ll refuse it until there are women considered as well. Democrat and Chronicle
• A lesson in risk. At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit in Hong Kong, several executives spoke about the importance of taking risks — especially when you are young. “The older you get, the fewer risks you’re likely to take,” said Jennifer Li, the CFO of Chinese search engine giant Baidu. Fortune
• Latin America’s iron ceiling. Despite making great strides in education and business, Latin American women still face numerous cultural and societal barriers that can make it difficult for them to succeed. Some 78% of Latin American execs said in a recent poll that their country’s culture makes it easier for men than for women to move forward in their careers. Fortune
• Stock soars on fertility promise. OvaScience stock jumped 10% on Tuesday off news that the company is ahead of schedule in testing a new fertility treatment for women. BizWomen
How a female veteran became a Wal-Mart exec
In 2008, Tracey Lloyd returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. Soon after, she was one of thousands of veterans to accept jobs at Wal-Mart. Entering as manager of a supercenter in Pal Coast, Fla., Lloyd is now a market manager responsible for the retail giant’s expansion into smaller stores. Since Wal-Mart announced its initiative in 2013 to hire 100,000 vets in five years, the company has recruited 68,000 vets like Lloyd and has promoted more than 5,000.
Her time serving her country as a communications systems manager for a battalion in Iraq was critical to her ability to move up the corporate ladder, she says.
“Think about how often something goes wrong with the computer in your office,” she told Fortune in 2010 for a cover story about veterans in the workforce. “Now imagine that it’s 120 degrees and you’re getting bombed all the time.”
Four years since taking over Fortune’s cover, we checked in with Lloyd to hear about her experiences at Wal-Mart and get her thoughts on the current state of female veterans in America. The 35-year-old reminds us that although the female veteran unemployment rate was twice that of men in October, there are still several success stories out there.
I understand that Rosalind Brewer, the president and CEO of Sam’s Club, mentored you. How has she helped develop you as a leader?
She has helped me develop as a businesswoman and build my business acumen. As a woman, she has taught me how to effectively reach both genders and lead. Coming from the military, I thought I needed to be one of the guys. She really embodies how important it is to really be yourself and to bring your whole self to work. She has been an open book about what she could have done differently.
How did your experience in Iraq prepare you for corporate America?
When I was in the military, I was leading soldiers that have been in the Army longer than I have been alive. One of my old sergeants said to me, “Just understand that I have combat boots in my closet that are older than you.” That really helped to shape my leadership style. Yes, I am in charge. But there is a level of deference that I have to give people for their time and service. When I’m in charge, there is a level of humility. I’ve taken that to Wal-Mart because I’m a junior executive and I’m younger than a majority of the people that I lead. People know I’m in charge. I don’t need to go around beating my chest.
What are some trends within the military that you think are positive for women?
Soon after I graduated from West Point, I remember going back and sitting in the stands and hearing some guys say that there were no women at West Point. I thought, “Really? How can they think that. Of course there are females at West Point!” Things are different now. More women are being considered for CEO jobs and they are opening up areas of the military that were previously closed to women. When you look at post-secondary education, you see how high the level of achievement is for women over our male counterparts. I feel that we are really hitting our stride where doors are being opened. You have the Ursula Burns [CEO of Xerox] and the Rosalind Brewers of the world that are opening these doors and doing such phenomenal jobs that my generation is coming through after them and getting a seat at the table. You see this in the military as well. We are not trying to be the men, but it is great to see the change that we are seeing.
To share The Broadview and read the full interview click here.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• UN targets India’s men. India’s men need to play a larger role in curbing domestic violence and promoting gender equality, according to the head of the United Nations’ women’s rights organization. The call to be more supportive of women comes right after 11 women died in the country after botched government sterilizations. In an effort to control population growth, women often are paid to undergo the procedure. WSJ
• Diversity starts at the top. For diverse teams to filter down across a company, leaders need to communicate that diversity is a fundamental element to success, says Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon. Fortune
ON MY RADAR
Chanel CEO gives career advice at Yale Yale Daily News
Never take a job you are qualified for Fortune
In most states, women outnumber men WaPo
How Pandora makes diversity a priority Women 2.0
As you set off into your job search, I want you all to stand tall. Don't be afraid to go out there and sell yourselves. If you want a job, you can't be modest. You've got to show off a little bit. And believe me, you all have so much to show off.First Lady Michelle Obama's advice to unemployed female veterans looking for jobs.