UltraViolet, the recently active women's network, picked a new target, Facebook, and announced an online petition campaign to ensure it has women directors.
The lack of a woman director is nothing short of shameful, said co-founder Nita Chaudhary. Facebook owes its success and makes a ton of money off its women users.
UltraViolet is seeking signatures from its 300,000 members, the network said Thursday. Facebook has a seven-member board of directors.
The network joins the National Organization for Women (NOW) as well as the California State Teachers' Retirement System, the $144.6 billion fund known as CalSTRS, which issued similar demands in February after Facebook filed for an initial public offering to raise $5 billion, which would value the 845-milion-member network at $100 billion.
Marc Zuckerberg [Facebook CEO] needs to be held accountable for the values of his generation, NOW VP Erin Matson said in an interview. Herself a Facebook member, Matson objected to a Facebook campaign for Dr. Pepper to promote a drink with only 10 manly calories.
UltraViolet, which became active in the wake of the decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to pull funding from Planned Parenthood by collecting 60,000 signatures, subsequently actively collected signatures to protest radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh's characterization of Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke as a slut and prostitute.
Last month, UltraViolet collected signatures to oppose the nomination of former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers to be President of the World Bank, citing his private conduct towards women as well as remarks about women's ineptitude for science while in office. Summers had been Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.
President Barack Obama has nominated Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College, for the bank post. UltraViolet praised the appointment, which is being challenged by two others, including a woman, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Near-term, UltraViolet wants Facebook to elect a woman before its IPO become effective.
Past experience shows that Facebook cares a lot about its brand and will respond to pressure if enough of us speak out, the new petition said.
UltraViolet receives funds from Citizens Engagement Laboratory, a non-profit organization housed at the Brower Center in Berkeley, Calif.