Watermark, the Bay Area’s largest organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions, has elected Peppercomm’s Ann Barlow as board chair for 2018-2019. Barlow, who has been a board member since 2014, will lead the organization in its 25th year of promoting women’s advancement in business.
“The demand for Watermark’s services has never been higher given the focus on issues of equity and the balance of power,” said Barlow. “The organization’s team and board are actively developing plans for expansion so we can make meaningful progress on a complex, intractable problem.”
With support from many of the best-known companies and entrepreneurs, Watermark already hosts dozens of webinars, training sessions, networking events and conferences each year. This month, the nonprofit will host its annual Conference for Women, the West Coast’s largest of its kind, at the San Jose Convention Center.
“The challenges around equal opportunity, treatment and power are complicated and deeply rooted,” said Marlene Williamson, Watermark CEO. “If they weren’t, we’d have solved this by now and Watermark wouldn’t need to exist. As it is, we do have a better understanding and more openness around the problems than perhaps ever before. I’m optimistic that with the leadership of Ann and the other board members, along with the efforts of the entire Watermark team and the broader community of women and men, we can make real progress this year.”
Barlow succeeds Lynne Born, CEO of New York-based Perelson Weiner, who will remain as co-chair. Barlow is the west coast president of Peppercomm, an integrated communications and marketing firm. She has received various industry accolades, including being named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the Bay Area, PR Professional of the Year and Top Woman in PR by PR News, and Watermark’s Women Who Have Made Their Mark.