Corporate and board diversity has been hot button topics for the last few months as people worldwide have demanded companies to make the necessary changes to increase Black and brown representation in leadership positions.
As a result, Ursula Burns and Gabrielle Sulzberger as well as leading partners Teneo, the Ford Foundation, the Executive Leadership Council, and a group of founding parties have all banded together to launch the Board Diversity Action Alliance — a business-led initiative making strides to increase the representation of racially and ethnically diverse directors on corporate boards of directors, starting with Black directors, a press release reports.
This initiative arrives just as conversations surrounding social justice continue to heighten, and is one of the nation’s first organizations to help dictate the racial makeup of a corporate board, according to Black Enterprise.
“I truly believe this is a make or break moment for business and for society—driven by a mix of inequality, environmental challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic, George Floyd’s murder, all of this is hitting us at once,” said Burns –the first black woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company — to Black Enterprise. “We knew there was a need to approach and address these issues of inequality a different way – that’s why we created the Board Diversity Action Alliance because leadership starts at the top.”
She added: “Our objective is to achieve greater diversity overall – brown, Latinx, women – all of these perspectives are important. The BDAA is a voluntary and business-led initiative, but overall we are aligned with state treasurers, city comptrollers and the recent mandate in State of California with respect to outcomes.”
According to a news release, all signatories who have joined the new alliance so far have agreed to the following commitments on their part:
- Increasing the number of Black directors on the board of directors to one or more
- Disclosing of the self-identified race and ethnicity of directors on corporate boards
- Reporting on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion measures on an annual basis
In under a month, the initiative has recruited the likes of brands such as Albertsons Companies, Centene Corp., Nordstrom Inc., and Under Armour to join its founding corporate giants including Dow, Macy’s, Mastercard, PNC, Uber, UPS, and WW who have all pledged to accelerate change on their respective boards by committing to a purposeful and quantifiable course of action.
Black Enterprise reports that the initiative’s three founding supporting partners — TPG, its first private equity partner; The Boulé, who has a Blacks on Corporate Boards Committee; and Impact X Capital Partners, the alliance’s first venture capital partner — are all dedicated to working with the BDAA to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at the board level.
For more information on the Board Diversity Action Alliance, visit their website.