Erika Hayes James, Dean of Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, will join Serena Williams as the second black woman on the SurveyMonkey Board of Directors. The latest addition brings the 10-person board to five men and five women.
James’ presence does more than just amplify diverse voices. She’s also bringing more than 20 years of experience in academia to the table, so her expertise will aid in SurveyMonkey’s interactions with the education sector, which has a huge presence in its customer base.
James was the first black woman to be appointed dean of a top 25 business school when she joined Emory in 2014. One of her passions has been increasing the representation of women in leadership roles across both businesses and in MBA programs
“My life’s work is helping women reach leadership positions, and I am impressed by SurveyMonkey’s dedication to creating a diverse and inclusive environment,” she said in a Fast Company article. “The data captured through SurveyMonkey products provides many insights on employee engagement and diversity and inclusion that can be used to inform decisions and make an impact.”
In a statement, Zander Lurie, CEO of SurveyMonkey, shared that James conducted research that found that investor reactions to the announcement of female CEOs were more negative than announcements of their male counterparts. And considering white men still make up for 70 percent of director positions of Fortune 500 boards, SurveyMonkey’s intentional diversity is leading the way.
James will definitely make an impact on the decisions made at SurveryMonkey thanks to her expertise and passion for the work. Her appointment continues to set the standard for diversity and inclusion in all sectors of business.