Companies are seeking Black board members amid social pressure
The CQ Roll Call article, “Companies are seeking Black board members amid social pressure,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Margot McShane on the spike in demand for Black representation in the boardroom. The article is excerpted below.
Companies are actively searching for Black board members after years of diversity efforts that focused on adding women and people of color more generally, according to search firms.
Consultants who run board searches say there is a significant surge in companies seeking Black directors following nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism that erupted after police killed George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis. The movement reemphasized the lack of Black leaders in corporate America and the barriers and discrimination Black Americans face in the workforce.
The mounting support for the Black Lives Matter movement among Americans has put the need for Black representation in the boardroom at the top of boards’ agendas, said Margot McShane, co-leader of board and CEO advisory partners in the Americas for Russell Reynolds Associates.
“In this case, the tolerance for not acting or responding is very low by most stakeholders today,” she said in an interview.
McShane said there has been an “unprecedented spike” in search requests for Black board candidates.
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