6sense and Athena Alliance Partner to Address Boardroom Diversity With Women in Marketing

6sense, in partnership with the Athena Alliance, launched The Empowered CMO Board Book aimed at propelling female Chief Market/Marketing Officers (CMOs) to leadership positions where they can have the most impact: in the boardroom. The book provides venture capital, private equity, and corporate board executives with a curated list of more than 60 women CMOs who are qualified and ready to serve on boards.

With thousands of board members serving Fortune 1000 companies, just 26 of them (or 3%) are marketing professionals according to Spencer Stuart, and only 14% of total board positions are held by women.

At the 2021 Empowered CMO Retreat, Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer at 6sense, announced a commitment to drive the advancement of distinguished women CMOs by opening doors and creating opportunities. Recognizing the importance of sponsorship, 6sense invested in more than 100 women CMOs to join the Athena Alliance to accelerate their board readiness and develop their board candidate resume for inclusion in the Board Book.

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“I really love that 6sense recognizes an issue and is taking action to address it. We saw a need for women CMOs in the boardroom and an opportunity with our Empowered CMO community, and we knew we had the right relationships to influence the next generation of board candidates,” said Conant. “We’re addressing both the lack of gender diversity and market expertise in boardrooms that are proven to hold companies back from the growth they deserve. It’s only our first step, but it’s a big one.”

Leaders at thriving companies can attest that a deep understanding of the “market” at the executive and board levels is critical. As more board chairpersons and CEOs recognize how important marketing, messaging, positioning, and the customer experience are to their companies’ growth trajectory, corporate boards seek to include those voices in the boardroom.

At the same time, research is showing that diverse boards are better at advising the companies they serve. Diverse boards foster more impressive innovation, especially in groundbreaking industries like tech.[1] And there’s a positive correlation between women’s presence on boards and greater financial returns.

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Yet many company leaders and investors struggle to connect with experienced women candidates who both increase a board’s diversity and bring market expertise. This collaboration between 6sense and Athena Alliance seeks to bridge this gap by making it easy for seasoned women marketing leaders and those filling board seats to find each other.

“Athena has supported over 400 women in gaining board seats, securing almost 1,000 interviews for women leaders along the way. We’ve guided and coached success on both sides of the table,” says Coco Brown, CEO & Founder of the Athena Alliance. “Athena is a perfect partner for this effort, not only for our experience in this area, but for our deep commitment to evolving the maturity of the modern boardroom. We are honored to collaborate with 6sense and Empowered CMO to create this revolutionary approach— a ‘board book’ of the most powerful women in go-to-market. This first release is just the starting point. And it will be received by at least 100 VCs and PE firms. That’s action.”

“Many company strategy problems come to a head in marketing,” said Carilu Dietrich, a former CMO and advisor to hypergrowth companies. “Seasoned marketing executives can add perspective and insight to help CEOs and boards tackle these critical issues and accelerate growth. Top CMOs have seen both the symptoms and the causes behind the numbers. This makes them a valuable complement to boards traditionally composed of life-time investors, CFOs and ex-CEOs. It’s exciting to see 6sense and Athena surfacing these talented women for new board openings. This program offers great value to CEOs looking for their next board member and to the women CMOs involved.”

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