Prof. Sale’s Leadership with DirectWomen Supports Corporate Board Diversity

Professor Hillary Sale, left, leads a panel discussion at the DirectWomen Board Institute.


Through her work with DirectWomen, Professor Hillary Sale continues to play a major role in the national effort to increase the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards. Sale is a member of the Executive Committee of DirectWomen and serves as co-chair of the DirectWomen Board Institute, which recently held its eighth session in New York City.

Professor Hillary Sale and Chancellor Mark Wrighton.

Each year, DirectWomen selects a group of experienced and accomplished women lawyers from a highly competitive pool of applicants to attend the DirectWomen Board Institute. Among the participants for 2015 was law alumna Meena Elliott, JD ’88, EMBA ’95, senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary at Aviat Networks, Inc. Elliott’s 20 classmates included general counsels of Fortune 500 companies, in-house counsels and executives of leading companies across a range of industries, and partners of top law firms.

The program is designed to help prepare participants for their role on corporate boards and underscores the premise that board diversity leads to enhanced business results. The Board Institute covers key issues facing current and future corporate directors and provides an opportunity for class members to interact with leading executives, directors, search firm consultants, and institute alumnae.

Sale, the Walter D. Coles Professor of Law and professor of management, noted that the program covers a wide range of cutting-edge subjects, including the work of nominating and corporate governance committees, the evolving nature of shareholder relations, the board’s role in strategy, and the involvement of executive search firms in board searches. As experienced directors and officers of large public companies, Board Institute faculty bring a wealth of knowledge to the program.

Professor Hillary Sale presents the inaugural Board Diversity
Award to Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric.

At the culmination of this year’s program, DirectWomen presented the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Awards to women lawyers who have served with distinction as independent directors of public companies and have worked to advance the value of diversity in board positions, and the Rising Star Award to a Board Institute alumna who has since joined at least one corporate board. Additionally, Sale presented the inaugural Board Diversity Award to Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric. Visit here for more information on the 2015 honorees.

Prior to the awards luncheon, a panel discussion featured Board Institute faculty and distinguished honorees, including Mark S. Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University; Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corp. and Washington University Trustee; and James Turley, former chair and CEO of Ernst & Young and an executive in residence at Olin Business School this fall.

Summer 2015