Boardroom Diversity – more work to do

Updated: Oct 24, 2018



“Just as diversification in a company’s business units and brands allows it to balance market uncertainties, so too does diversification in the boardroom allow it to broaden its worldview, then hone its strategic direction.”  Maria Green, Illinois Tool Works (in Chicago Tribune).

Chicago Urban League released survey results reported by Samantha Bomkamp in today’s Chicago Tribune that reinforces what we already know, and here are some of the facts: 36% of Chicago’s population is African-American yet only 6.6% of corporate board members in the region are black; that while executives believe diversity is important as a business necessity, they don’t often translate the belief into practice; that diversity is improving at lower levels of companies but not as much at the highest levels.

Some solutions suggested by the article:

  • Continue to enlighten business leaders on the importance of diversifying their executive teams (including hiring executives of different backgrounds)

  • Use recruiters and others to help recruit and hire diverse executive level leaders (rather than rely on traditional networking, which can be too narrow)

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