Women Corporate Directors Recognizes Strong Link Between Diversity and Better Financial Performance in Its 2019 Visionary Award Winners

Award for Innovation in Shared Value: BMO Financial Group (BMO), a 200-year old financial services institution and one of the ten largest banks in North America. With five women sitting on its board, BMO also has women in 40% of its senior leadership roles.

Award for Leadership and Governance of a Public Company: Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel), one of Asia’s leading communications technology groups. Led by CEO Chua Sock Koong, Singtel is Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunications company by market capitalization and reaches over 675 million mobile customers in 21 countries. In January, Chua was the first woman appointed to Singapore’s Council of Presidential Advisers. The award honors Singtel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and global corporate citizenship.

Award for Leadership and Governance of a Private Company: Hallmark Cards, Inc., a privately held, family-owned business founded in 1910. Women represent 40% of senior managers and three out of the seven board members at the Kansas City, Missouri-headquartered company. Hallmark, a $4 billion company employing 30,000 people, is being recognized for its standing as one of the best employers for women and for its global growth and continuous innovation.

Award for Strategic Leadership: Eileen McDonnell, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company since 2013. A strong advocate for diversity across the industry, McDonnell leads a gender-balanced board and executive team, which reflects the company’s philosophy that inclusivity and diversity generate success. The award recognizes McDonnell’s strategic leadership as Penn Mutual has become a leading competitive force in the life insurance industry nationwide.

“This year we selected awardees from Canada, Singapore, and the United States who are powerful role models because they ‘walk the walk’ through leadership that underscores the interconnectedness of diversity and inclusion in the boardroom and on the senior management team with good corporate governance and consistently strong financial results,” says Joan E. Steel, co-chair of the Visionary Awards committee. “Public, employee, and investor pressure has been a wake-up call for many organizations, and not having substantive diversity and inclusion efforts is having greater negative consequences for companies’ bottom lines,” says Barbara Bowles, committee co-chair with Steel.