Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) appointed Susan Desmond-Hellmann as member of its board of directors. Hellman is the second woman to join the board of the social networking giant. She is the current chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and also a member of the board of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG).
Desmond-Hellman is the ninth member of the Facebook’s board, which is primary composed of insiders and investors in the Silicon Valley including venture capitalist Mark Andreesen, Peter Thiel of Founder Fund, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Andreessen Horowitz and Erskine Bowles, president emeritus of University of North Carolina.
Desmond-Hellman also serves as a trustee for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a non-profit medical research organization. She previously served as president of product development of Genentech, a biotechnology company. At The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), she serves on the audit and technology committees.
Desmond-Hellman is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. She holds a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
In a statement, Desmond-Hellman said, “I’ve always been drawn to organizations that do ground-breaking work. Facebook has an ambitious mission and long-term vision of innovation that is transforming how people connect with one another. I’m proud to be part of a company that is serving such an important purpose in the world.
The first member of the board of directors of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of the company. She joined the board of the social networking giant in 2012 after CalSTRS sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg citing that the company’s management lack diversity.
Anne Sheenan, director of corporate governance of CalSTRS wrote, “We are disappointed the Facebook board will not have any women members. This is particularly glaring in view of the fact that Facebook is going public at a time when there is clear evidence that companies with diverse boards perform far better than the companies with more homogenous boards. We believe investors and the company would benefit from a larger, more diverse board and urge you to expand its size.”
Last year, Fiona Floyd, CIO of Suncorp Life also commented last year regarding the issue. She said that IT industry is still far from becoming more gender balance. Floyd said, “Just think about Facebook and the global campaign that was undertaken in order to get Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to put a female onto their board. Most of us think of Facebook as a modern, contemporary, young organisation and yet it took pressure around the world for them to do that. However, what’s encouraging is there is more awareness and interest in this topic than there ever has been before and that makes me very optimistic for the future.”
The report from Financial Times noted that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) appointed Desmond-Hellman prior to the release of Sandberg’s book on women and leadership entitled “Lean In.” Sandberg described her book as a “sort of feminist manifesto.”
In her book, Sandberg wrote, “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”