Board Diversity: A Path to Board Service From the Wisdom of Black Women Directors - Keith Dorsey

This article is part of broader research and thinking for ‘Charting an Intentional Path Toward Corporate Board Service’.

Although equal opportunity policies have been in place more than 50 years, ethnic minority women remain significantly underrepresented in corporate boardrooms, and practical recommendations for closing the gap are lacking. Corporate board diversity has been a topic of discussion for many years, and it is a complex problem that requires complex solutions.

To investigate this matter, I interviewed 12 Black women corporate directors who had served on boards for two to 23 years, with a median of seven years. The 12 directors interviewed actively were serving on 38 corporate boards, including 31 public boards (10 of which were Fortune 500 companies) and seven private boards.

I published a condensed version of my findings as an article for ‘Insights — the Corporate and Securities Law Advisor.’ This article provides insight into how diverse executives secure board seats, what barriers they encounter along the way, and how they can overcome them. Based on these insights, some initial suggestions are offered regarding the steps corporate boards and diverse candidates may consider to improving board diversity.

My next few articles in other publications will dive into more detail on these suggestions as well as offer further stakeholder perspectives and recommendations for solving the diversity challenge.

You can read the full article here —

Keith Dorsey is currently a managing partner and the US practice leader of CEO and Board Services at Boyden, a global executive search firm with 75 offices in 45 countries. Keith holds a Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Charter Oak State College. He has over 25 years of leadership experience in human capital management, executive, consulting, and board roles. He is a Board Member of Vimly Benefit Solutions, a benefits administration technology firm; Pepperdine Graziadio Business School; and the Financial Advisory Commission of the City of La Quinta. He is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Certified Director and Governance Fellow and a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).

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