“On April 2, at the ULIsf’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Organizational Meeting, after 30 years of ULI involvement, Executive Director Elliot Stein found himself in a very unusual situation: he was the only man in the conference room,” says San Francisco YLG member Kara Anderson. April 2, 2013 marked the first organizational meeting of the San Francisco branch of the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative.
The program was moderated by WLI Executive Chair Diana Reid of PNC Bank and WLI Planning Chair Libby Seifel of Seifel Consulting. Approximately forty women attended the event to discuss developing WLI programming locally, including Peer-to-Peer Women in Real Estate events, WLI’s Fall Scholarship Program, and connecting women across ULI.
As head of planning, Seifel generated the metrics necessary for measuring the tangible impact of the initiative. By 2018 the WLI seeks to increase female membership of YLG to 50% (23% in 2012) and at all other ULI levels to at least 30% (now 7% of Board of Directors and Foundation Governors, up to 28% for publicly funded Full Members in 2012). Why 30%? Because Seifel’s research indicates this is the amount necessary to achieve a gender-balanced dialogue. And, further research demonstrates a company’s bottom line benefits from such a mix, for a variety of reasons, from a bias towards financial restraint to the ability to maintain a focus on long term results.
The ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative is delighted to see ULI San Francisco, and other District Councils, developing plans to produce WLI program locally. To follow the progress of these local efforts, please join our LinkedIn group.
Many thanks to Kara Anderson for her help with this entry.