New Insights on the Corporate Landscape

Visit this section regularly to keep up with the latest news on African-American Board news. It includes content on new appointments, the latest studies/trends and thought provoking content on why the average person should care about the lack of African-Americans serving on Fortune 500 Boards of Directors. So why is African-American Board membership important? Board Directors mission is to create shareholder value.

Boards create the policies that determine which people companies choose to hire, train, promote, and fire. They have oversight of corporate expenditures that cut across areas that impact society as a whole. They also shape corporate giving. For these reasons, we need to bring diversity…diversity of thought, leadership, global perspectives.

The Case for and against Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards

In Europe, gender quotas are old news.

In 2003, Norway became the first country in the world to institute a gender quota for boards of directors, requiring listed companies to add female members to make up at least 40% of overall board representation. Other countries followed suit, including Belgium, France and Italy.

Read more about advancement in the U.S. here.

Chicago Lags National Average in Diverse For-Profit Boards

Only 14 percent of the board members at Chicago’s top 50 publicly traded companies are racially or ethnically diverse, compared to the national figure of 17.5 percent, a new report finds.

The 2018 Inside Inclusion Featuring the Corporate Diversity Profile report focuses on the top 50 Chicago-based companies ranked by 2017 revenue as reported in Crain’s Chicago Business’ 2018 Book of Lists and compares them to local and national statistics.

Read the full article.

Power In The Boardroom: Registry Of Black Corporate Board Members

Over the past six years, Black Enterprise has identified African Americans who serve on the boards of America’s largest publicly traded corporations.

Read more about the Black Enterprise Registry of Corporate Directors here.

Video – How to Become A Corporate Board Member

Deforest Soaries

Watch the video to learn more about Deforest Soaries’ journey to the boardroom.
Soaries discusses how he gained entry to corporate boards, uses his position to impact change and the importance of diversity in corporate governance today.

Blog Post: Why Being A Part of Corporate Boards Matter

Dana Bolden

Just recently, a colleague asked me if I knew any African-American’s who served in C-suite roles with food or agriculture companies.  I didn’t know anyone directly, but thanks to the database we keep through The Director Project, I was able to share eight names that fit the bill.

Perhaps this was an isolated conversation but I think not. As new companies form, spinoffs occur and Boards seek to diversify, we need better and more focused means of sharing the resumes of talented African-Americans who are capable of corporate board service.

Read more here.

Bold Action is Needed by Boards of Directors as Corporate Wealth Becomes Increasingly Concentrated, Says New Book

Are public corporations to be managed to support shareholder needs for constant growth, or are they to be managed to build long-term value for the future? According to a new book by turnaround and corporate governance expert Deborah Hicks Midanek, this debate forms the crux of a “Governance Revolution” currently underway, with an outcome likely important to every person on the planet.

Read more about What Every Board Member Needs to Know, NOW! here.

New California Law Forces Board Diversity, But Is It Right?

In a push to further corporate board diversity, California has enacted new legislation requiring publicly-traded firms in the state to have at least one woman on the board of directors.

Companies have until the end of 2019 to comply or face penalties. The more directors on the board, the more women the companies are required to add. For example, if a business has five directors, the law says it must add two women by 2021—six or more directors, then three women must be added to the board.

Read more here.