Women are moving into boardroomsAs the new female board...


December 11, 1992|By Kim Clark

Women are moving into boardrooms

As the new female board members at McCormick & Co.,and Martin Marietta Corp. will attest, women are finally cracking the glass ceiling at the corporate director level.

A new survey of the nation's corporate boards found that a record 60 percent have at least one female member.

Korn/Ferry International has conducted the survey since 1973, when only 11 percent of the boards had female members.

This spring, Karen D. Weatherholtz became the first woman on McCormick's 103-year-old board. Gwendolyn King joined Martin Marietta's board this month.

The insurance industry leads the nation in integrating women into the boardroom. Four out of five insurers have at least one female director.

Holiday celebrations matching the times

Leaner and meaner companies may not have much time for holiday parties and gifts. But employees are making a point of celebrating their survival.

For some, the parties are subdued. Others are switching from individual gifts to gift baskets that can be shared by whole departments. And many emphasize charity this year.

The seven members of Architectural Collaborative Inc. will hold their annual holiday dinner this month, even though the recession forced the Baltimore-based home design firm to lay off two workers earlier this year.

"We're happy we're working," explains architect Ken Szpara.

There won't be an elaborate bash at Gray Kirk VanSant this month. Instead, the Baltimore-based advertising agency will have an office party.

It's not that the 75-person agency couldn't afford a big party, says spokeswoman Carolyn Bodie, but that nobody had time to plan one.

To focus on the spirit of the season, the agency is giving money to a volunteer agency called doingsomething, she says.

At Baskets of Taste, the Charles Street store that creates gift baskets, demand for the fancy $100 Christmas packages is down, says owner Susan Lauffer.

But there has been a booming corporate demand for the "nutcracker suite," a $25 to $50 combination of cookies, nuts and candies that an office can share.

Some people plan to celebrate 1992 in a big way, though.

At Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., broker Sarah Hunt is giving seasonal gifts to her clients for the first time to reinforce the gains her investors made in 1992.

"Our profits were up 50 percent this year," she says.

Job scene looks good for accountants

Accountants: The numbers are in your favor.

Ten percent of the nation's chief financial officers plan to add accountants and other financial whizzes in the first quarter of 1993, says Robert Half International, a headhunting firm.

Four percent were planning to lay off financial personnel.

A survey of 1,000 CFOs found that those in finance, insurance and real estate were most likely to add staff.

By region, firms in the Midwest were the most bullish. In Maryland's region, 12 percent of the CFOs planned to hire, while only 3 percent planned to fire.

Young getting a lot from their elders

Many older Americans give their kids more than they receive from them, a new survey reveals.

A survey by Louis Harris and Associates finds a surprising number of older Americans are working to contribute to their offspring's income.

One in five of people over age 55 gives a "sizable" part of his or her income to a child or grandchild. But only one in 20 gets a "sizable" contribution from the kids.

Seekers in Japan outnumber jobs

Pity the Japanese job-seeker.

For the first time in more than four years, there are more applicants than jobs in Japan.

The Labor Ministry announced there were 96 jobs for every 100 job-seekers in October. That's down from 101 jobs in September, and a far cry from the mind-boggling 147 jobs chasing every 100 workers in 1991.

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