WomenCorporateDirectors Taps Unilever, former Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino, IBM, and SC Johnson as 2013 WCD Visionary Awards

 WomenCorporateDirectors Taps Unilever, former Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino,
           IBM, and SC Johnson as 2013 WCD Visionary Awards Winners

  PR Newswire

  NEW YORK, April 3, 2013

   - Recognition for Governance and Corporate Citizenship by Top Membership
                       Organization of Women on Boards

NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As investors and regulators place
greater demands on corporations to improve their governance,
WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) is recognizing those companies and CEOs who have
excelled in their leadership over the past year with its "WCD Visionary
Awards." This year, four winners – Unilever , former Pearson CEO Marjorie
Morris Scardino , IBM , and SC Johnson – have been tapped to receive Visionary
Awards, which were established by WCD in 2011.

"By identifying organizations and leaders who are demonstrating outstanding
corporate governance and corporate citizenship, we hope to encourage and
inspire companies globally to make the same efforts," says Brenda Gaines,
co-chair of the Visionary Awards committee and Director, AGL Resources, Inc.,
Fannie Mae, Office Depot, Inc., and Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Christie
Hefner – Executive Chairman, Canyon Ranch Enterprises and Director, Center for
American Progresswho co-chairs the committee with Ms. Gaines – adds: "These
awards are a signal to Unilever, Pearson, IBM, and SC Johnson stakeholders
that these companies are setting a new standard for leadership in the world
economy. By prioritizing 'shared value' initiatives and advancing diversity at
the highest levels, these are the corporate leaders who are driving some of
the most important change we are seeing in business today."

The award winners will be presented at the 2013 Visionary Awards Dinner on May
1, 2013, in New York City, as part of WCD's third annual Global Institute (May
1-2). Awards will be accepted by:

  *Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever , winner of the Visionary Award for
    Leadership and Governance of a Public Company
  *Marjorie Morris Scardino , former CEO and Director of Pearson PLC, winner
    of the Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership
  *Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Director of IBM , winner of the Visionary Award
    for Shared Value
  *Christine Todd Whitman, Director of SC Johnson , winner of the Visionary
    Award for Leadership and Governance of a Private Company

Unilever's Mr. Polman explains how his company is cultivating the talent
required to advance Unilever's leadership: "We recognise that in order to
fulfil our growth ambitions – whilst reducing our environmental impact and
increasing our positive social impact – we must have in place a
gender-balanced and engaged workforce. Women will account for 63 per cent of
university graduates in developed countries by 2025, and we had better fully
tap into this pool of talent if we want to survive.

"At Unilever, however, we want women leaders of today. We have established a
number of initiatives which underline our commitment to strengthening the
representation of women in leadership roles by developing talent and creating
an environment in which women can excel. There is more still to be done but we
are honoured to receive this award, recognising as it does, our overall
commitment to innovative leadership and governance."

The winner of the award for "shared value," IBM is being recognized for its
leadership specifically in the area of corporate responsibility – an approach
to business that the company helped pioneer. Dr. Jackson, President of
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an IBM Director, says of IBM's being
named a 2013 winner: "I'm honored to accept this award on behalf of IBM, which
has long believed in a strong relationship between corporate citizenship and
business strategy."

As the setting for the Visionary Awards presentation each year, WCD's
invitation-only Global Institute has become one of the most sought-after
events for women corporate directors globally, attracting 250 board members,
many of whom are also CEOs, from countries around the world.

The Institute has also provided a launching ground for major governance and
diversity initiatives, including the formation of the Global Nominating
Commission . A high-level task force of top board nominating chairs and
committee members, as well as CEOs, dedicated to actively building diverse
boards and candidate slates, the Commission recently released its "Best
Practices for Director Selection and Development" to supplement its board
education seminars rolling out this year.

"By sharing effective approaches to improving governance and board diversity,
such as those exemplified by the success of WCD's Visionary Award winners, the
Global Nominating Commission is building a resource of definitive advice for
directors and nominating committees around the world," says Susan Stautberg,
global co-chair and CEO of WCD and a member of the Global Nominating
Commission.

2013 WCD Visionary Awards Selection Committee

Committee Co-Chairs

  *Brenda Gaines – Director, AGL Resources, Inc., Fannie Mae, Office Depot,
    Inc., and Tenet Healthcare Corporation
  *Christie Hefner – Executive Chairman, Canyon Ranch Enterprises; Director,
    Center for American Progress

Committee Members

  *Henrietta Holsman Fore –Global Co-chair of WomenCorporateDirectors;
    Director of ExxonMobil Corp. and Theravance, Inc.
  *Jill Kanin-Lovers – Director of Dot Foods and Heidrick & Struggles
  *Mel Lagomasino –Director of The Coca-Cola Company and Avon Products,
    Inc.
  *Robin Smith – Chairman of the Board, Publishers Clearing House; Director,
    Prudential/Jennison and Target Mutual Funds; Director and Vice Chair, ADLP
  *Susan Stautberg – Co-founder and Global Co-chair of
    WomenCorporateDirectors and President of PartnerCom Corporation

The 2012 Visionary Award winners included Publicis Groupe and Intel as
corporate honorees, with DuPont Chair of the Board and CEO Ellen Kullman and
Desjardins Group Chair of the Board, President, and CEO Monique Leroux picking
up individual honors.

For more information about the WCD 2013 Visionary Awards, please contact Davia
Temin or Suzanne Oaks  of Temin and Company at +1-212-588-8788 or
news@temin.co .

About WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) is the only
global membership organization and community of women corporate directors,
comprised of more than 1,800 members serving on over 2,600 boards in more than
50 chapters around the world. In 2012, WCD launched the Global Nominating
Commission, a high-level task force of select corporate board nominating
committee chairs and members from around the world, as well as CEOs, focused
on proactively building diverse boards and candidate slates. Each year, WCD
conducts a Global Board Survey in conjunction with Heidrick & Struggles and
researchers from the Harvard Business School. Heidrick & Struggles and KPMG
are Global Founding Partners of WCD.

WCD has 52 global chapters, located in Arizona, Atlanta, Beijing, Boston,
Brazil, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Colombia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gulf Co-operative Council, Hanoi, Ho Chi
Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, London, Los
Angeles/Orange County, Malaysia, Melbourne, Mexico, Milan, Minnesota, Morocco,
Mumbai, Netherlands, New York, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern California,
Peru, Philadelphia, Philippines, Rome, San Diego, Seattle, Shanghai,
Singapore, South Africa, South Florida, Switzerland, Sydney, Tennessee,
Toronto, and Washington DC.For more information, visit
www.womencorporatedirectors.com .

Website: http://www.womencorporatedirectors.com
 
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