Over a dozen companies have just pledged to add at least one Black director to their boards within the next year, AP News reports. The move comes as an effort to ensure their leadership reflects the customers they serve.
“America has been reminded again in tragic fashion that we must redouble our efforts to build a more inclusive society,” said co-founder of The Board Challenge and CEO of Altimeter Capital, Brad Gerstner in a statement. “Business leaders can’t let this moment pass us by without playing our part and taking this tangible step to build a more diverse boardroom.”
Co-founders of The Board Challenge will check in with the respective companies after six months and again at the 12-month mark. They will also aid in helping them find candidates to fulfill their positions.
While this is a huge step, there’s still a ways to go when it comes to getting people who aren’t white men into leadership positions. According to Black Enterprise, more than a third of the big companies included in the S&P 500 Index did not have a single Black director in 2019. The rate of 37 percent decreased slightly from 39 percent a year before.
According to the Associated Press, there are currently 27 companies that already have at least one Black director but have also pledged to encourage corporations to continue to increase efforts for full representation across their boards. They include Verizon, Nordstrom, United Airlines, and Nasdaq.
AP News also reports that the following 17 companies have pledged to add a Black director in the span of the next 12 months: Accolade, Altimeter Growth, Amperity, Bolster, Gusto, Heritage-Crystal Clean., Heritage Environmental Services, HopSkipDrive, Kin, M.M.LaFleur, Nextdoor, PagerDuty, RealSelf, Ripple, Senreve, Vinyl Me, Please, and Zillow.
Although these types of initiatives should have been in place a long time ago, it’s good to see companies putting action behind the continuous call to diversify their leadership boards.