Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Diana Markaki and The Boardroom Elevate Women to Top Positions

Published in the London Post on 28 May 2023.

Diana Markaki, a name synonymous with championing gender diversity, has been breaking new ground in corporate leadership. An accomplished international lawyer, Markaki has been redefining the parameters of women in executive roles through her pioneering initiative

The Boardroom.

Founded by Markaki in 2021, The Boardroom is the first private club in Europe devoted to propelling women into boardroom positions. By cultivating an environment that nurtures and supports qualified female executives, Markaki is gradually redrawing the gender lines in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Addressing Gender Disparity: London’s Struggle with Leadership Positions

Despite being a global hub of business and innovation, London still grapples with a significant gender disparity in leadership positions. According to a 2022 report by the UK’s Female FTSE Board, women hold just over a third of all FTSE 100 board positions. While this figure has improved from previous years, it still demonstrates that the city’s corporate leadership does not yet fully reflect the diversity of its workforce.

The implications of this gap extend beyond simple fairness. A study by the global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. This suggests that gender diversity isn’t just an ethical imperative – it’s a business one as well.

The Woman Powering the Boardroom

Armed with a law degree and LLM in international law from Athens Law School, an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School, and an illustrious career in M&A, asset management, and capital markets, Diana Markaki stands as an epitome of accomplished femininity. Her mission – to bolster the presence of skilled women in corporate board positions.

In her current roles, Markaki is the member of the board of directors at 5G Ventures S.A, a multimillion mutual fund investing in groundbreaking 5G technology, and a partner at international investment firm Venero Capital, where she advises on ESG and impact investing.

The Boardroom: Shattering the Glass Ceiling

The Boardroom is making significant strides in promoting gender diversity in corporate governance. It offers members exclusive access to clubhouses, creating an environment conducive to building trust, solidarity, and confidentiality – crucial elements of successful leadership.

Currently boasting 250 members from 23 different countries across 22 industries, the club is nurturing a diverse pipeline of talented women. The association’s holistic approach provides a comprehensive solution for female executives who aspire to successful board memberships.

In a world where women have to be more qualified than their male counterparts to be considered for board positions, as suggested by a Harvard Business Review survey, The Boardroom is becoming a beacon of change.

Inclusivity and Community Building

The Boardroom is more than just a meeting point for top executives. It is cultivating an inclusive community of individuals, both men and women, who share the common goal of forging a more inclusive corporate environment.

While women comprise approximately 50 percent of the global population, they held around 29 percent of North American and European board positions in 2022. This disparity, not only unjust but also stifling to growth and innovation, is what The Boardroom aims to address. The club recognizes the importance of male allies in creating a more inclusive workplace and is driving progress by providing practical advice and insights.

The Road Ahead

With expansion plans to Denmark, France, and the UK in 2023, The Boardroom continues its mission to promote gender diversity and inclusion in corporate governance. Their offering extends beyond their clubhouses to events and seminars that unite members with industry experts and thought leaders. These events provide opportunities to learn, network, and gain new perspectives on the challenges facing women in business.

In the ongoing narrative of diversity and inclusion, The Boardroom is steadily emerging as a leading entity. With its robust network and determined expansion plans, The Boardroom is well on its path to becoming a major influence in reshaping the future of female corporate leadership.