Photo: Business Insider / Matthew Lynley
UltraViolet, a political group that fights sexism, has a bone to pick with Facebook. It wants Facebook to put a women on its board of directors and is urging its 300,000 members to petition Facebook about it.They have a point. More than half of Facebook’s users are women — 58% — Facebook says. And women are more active users of Facebook than men, doing two-thirds the sharing.
So while Facebook is making a bundle selling ads to women, it is downright shameful that Facebook couldn’t find a single woman board member to help advise it.
The irony of Facebook’s all male board is that the company’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg recently spoke out against how women were being kept out of power positions. At last month’s Women In The World conference in New York, Sandberg said, “Women have held 15 to 18 per cent of top jobs for the past few years. Is this a stalled revolution?”
Facebook’s all male board also doesn’t jive with the rest of the tech industry, or even most of the Fortune 500. Companies like LinkedIn and Google have a least one women on the board. Only 11.3 per cent of the Fortune 500 had male-only boards last year, says women’s research group Catalyst, according to Bloomberg.
So what gives with Facebook?
Here is the letter that Ultraviolet sent to its members today:
Facebook has a problem and you can help them solve it. Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote that part of Facebook’s mission is to build tools that will help create the “direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.” 
Unfortunately, Zuckerberg doesn’t extend this philosophy to the way he runs his own business.
The majority of Facebook users are women–58%.  Women are also responsible for 62% of the sharing that happens on the network and make up 71% of the daily fan activity on the site which is a huge source of revenue for Facebook.  Zynga accounted for $445 million of Facebook’s profits last year and boasts 60% female users. 
But in a few weeks, when Facebook goes public it will not have a single woman on its board–a decision that’s not only in conflict with Facebook’s own mission but one that’s also just bad for business.
That’s why we’re joining the Face It campaign and launching a petition to urge Facebook to invite at least one woman to join its board before it goes public. Past experience shows that Facebook cares a lot about its brand and will respond to pressure if enough of us speak out. And together, all of us have proven that when we take action together, we can have a big impact. Can you sign this petition today so we can deliver it to Facebook and the media next week?
Not having a single woman on Facebook’s board makes no sense.
Here’s why: Companies with women on the board make more money. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between boards with female representation and increased returns on sales, investments and equity.  And companies with women on the board function better. Studies have also indicated that women improve the ways that boards function and make decisions. 
Women are also widely seen as the future of the tech industry. Take Pinterest as an example, they’ve only been around for a year and are already one of the 10 largest social network services. They credit their meteoric growth to their 97% female users. 
With a white, male board, Facebook is behind the curve.
This problem is easily solvable–there are countless qualified women, and it’s smart business to have women on Facebook’s board. But Facebook isn’t going to act unless there’s an outcry.
–Nita and Shaunna, UltraViolet
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