TAKE THE PLEDGE
It’s time for action.
The Board Challenge is a movement to improve the representation of Black directors in corporate U.S. boardrooms by challenging companies to take the pledge to appoint a Black director within the next year.
Join the cross-sector of public and private U.S. companies committed to accelerating action to improve the representation of Black leaders on the boards of U.S. companies.
Commit to adding a Black director to your board of directors within the next year. If your organization already has at least one Black director, pledge to help foster continued efforts for change.
THE CASE IS CLEAR
Black leaders are under-represented in America’s public and private boardrooms. True and full racial representation at the board level is in the best interest of companies, employees, customers and communities and helps to advance and support a more equitable society.
- Diverse boards of directors are 43% more likely than non-diverse boards to achieve financial performance above the national industry medium for companies in the top quartile vs. bottom quartile, according to McKinsey & Company’s “Delivering Through Diversity” 2018 report.
- More than nine in 10 directors (94%) agree that board diversity brings unique perspectives to the boardroom, according to PwC’s 2019 Annual Corporate Directors Survey. Additionally, 87% said board diversity enhances board performance and 76% said it enhances company performance.
- More than half (53%) of investors say board diversity should be a top focus, according to a 2019 report from the EY Center for Board Matters.
WHY SUPPORT THE CHALLENGE?
“The proportional participation by Black men and women on corporate boards is necessary, feasible, and likely to lead to better corporate performance. There are existing and rising leaders across the country whose perspectives and experiences would be invaluable to any board and they belong in the boardroom. A movement like The Board Challenge will hold companies to account as we work to increase our representation in America’s boardrooms.”
– Les Brun, Chairman and CEO, Sarr Group and Lead Director, Merck
“We have to acknowledge that we have a problem and that we are not powerless to fix it. I like the optimism around The Board Challenge and the idea that we can use this moment to gain momentum, tap our networks and press forward together to encourage companies to appoint Black directors or if they have them, join the movement to encourage other companies to take the pledge.”
— Shellye Archambeau, Board Director, Verizon, Nordstrom, Okta
“The data is clear that companies with diverse boards outperform in the marketplace. For The ELC, board diversity is about more than just the bottom line. It’s about acknowledging that qualified Black board talent exists. It’s about authentic leadership demonstrating to Black employees that executives who look like us can be at the helm of the organization. ‘You cannot be what you cannot see.’ Black board representation is absolutely needed to effectively face the challenges of today.”
— Crystal Ashby, Interim President and CEO, The Executive Leadership Council
“The perspectives and ideas we listen to, and the voices we elevate, will determine the future of our industries, our companies, and ultimately our world. It’s obvious that Black people are underrepresented in corporate boardrooms and other positions of leadership and power. It is something we don’t talk about enough.”
– Rich Barton, Co-founder and CEO, Zillow
“If you see a challenge that is so important to the core of society and where we’re going as a society, as companies and as individuals, why not act now? This is the time.”
— Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber
“From the boarding gate area to the boardroom, when I look across United Airlines I see diversity at the very heart of our strength. But, we know there’s more progress to be made, and we must lean into our long-standing efforts to ensure we reflect all viewpoints and values, starting with our Board. We will be a better, stronger business for it.”
— Oscar Munoz, Executive Chairman, United Airlines
“There is pure empirical evidence that companies that create inclusive environments and champion diversity will foster greater innovation and ultimately achieve longer term sustainable success. Regardless of where your organization is on this journey, we can all do more.”
— Mindy Grossman, President and CEO, WW International
“Diversity is crucial to one of a board’s foundational responsibilities, to ensure the company is fairly run. This fairness depends not just on our board’s decision-making, but also on employees’ confidence in that decision-making. No matter how hard we try to be an open company, it can be daunting for any employee to escalate a problem to the board, but especially for an employee of color who doesn’t see a director with the life experiences to process that problem.”
— Glenn Kelman, CEO, Redfin
“Taking purposeful action and holding ourselves accountable is critical to driving the systemic change we need to see. We’re proud to participate in this challenge as we continue to do the hard work necessary to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for our employees, our creators and our society as a whole.”
— Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite
“America is at a new point of reckoning to address racial issues and equal representation. Business leaders of all backgrounds can’t let this moment pass us by without taking this actionable, tangible step to build more diverse boardrooms.”
— Brad Gerstner, Founder & CEO, Altimeter Capital
“Another objection is that the focus on diverse candidates is too narrow. We know focus yields results and this is the start of a much bigger movement.”
— Sukhinder Singh, Founder and Chairman, theBoardlist
“One objection we hear is whether companies can find the kind of diverse board talent they are looking for. It is 2020 – it is not a pipeline problem, it is a perspective problem.”
— Guy Primus, CEO, Valence
“Our boards should reflect the communities we aim to serve and the companies we hope to become. Diversity is a core American strength and should be a central pillar of our technology community as well.”
— Dave Girouard, Co-founder and CEO, Upstart
“Sonos is honored to be a Charter Pledge Partner of The Board Challenge. We believe that every company, and the world at large, benefits from greater diversity and inclusion, and are encouraged to see so many great companies commit to this effort for change.”
– Patrick Spence, CEO, Sonos
“We need to reflect the richly diverse community we serve and as such, inclusion, diversity, and equity (ID&E) are business imperatives for PagerDuty. Like any business imperative, you must set measurable goals, ensure ownership and accountability, and invest to win, and the Board Challenge supports our goal to achieve balanced representation on our board and throughout our company.”
— Jennifer Tejada, Chairperson & CEO, PagerDuty
“Private company boards aren’t diverse or independent enough, and it’s really hard to change this. As a new company, we have the opportunity to bring in a diverse board from the beginning, and The Board Challenge matches our plans to do this. It also fits with our goal of helping other companies diversify their boards. We are excited to sign onto the Challenge and encourage other companies to follow suit!”
– Matt Blumberg, CEO, Bolster
“At Lightspeed, diversity and inclusion have been in our DNA since I founded the company in 2005. I believe that innovation and creativity are strongest when different viewpoints are heard around the table. Company values start at the top and it’s essential for Lightspeed leadership to put our words into action and be part of The Board Challenge – not only for our global employees but for our SMB retail and hospitality industry customers located in multicultural communities throughout the globe. As we work towards a more inclusive future, initiatives like The Board Challenge are essential in bringing together top talent, with diversity as a key strategic advantage.”
– Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO, Lightspeed
“Ranpak is proud and honored to join The Board Challenge as a Charter Partner. As a global organization that values the life experiences, ideas and cultures each of our employees brings to our company, we strive to create an atmosphere of acceptance and respect for all our team members. Ranpak is proud to count men and women of all races and ethnicities as members of our team, and we are dedicated to increasing the diversity and well-being of our global workforce, from the boardroom to the factory floor. We know our differences make us a stronger company and we enthusiastically support The Board Challenge in its goal of true and full representation on all boards of directors. We will support and encourage the broader corporate community to accelerate these important changes.”
– Omar Asali, CEO, Ranpak
“We have decided to take part in the Board Challenge because we know diversity will enhance our ability to grow as a company, as well as enable us to improve as individuals. This is more than a check-the-box exercise for us. Change starts at the top, and our Chairman and I want to set the tone for our entire workforce that there is great value in welcoming unique perspectives to the leadership table. We are excited to strengthen our board in areas such as IT and logistics, and we are looking to embrace those that have the skills and background we lack to help us reach our full potential.”
– Brian Recatto, President and CEO, Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc.
“Diversity and inclusion has always been a priority at HopSkipDrive. We’re excited about the Board Challenge because by highlighting such an important initiative we now have an even greater pool of qualified candidates to fill a seat we have been saving.”
– Joanna McFarland, Co-founder and CEO, HopSkipDrive
“Company boards are only as strong as they are representative of different backgrounds, experiences and talents. As a Charter Member of The Board Challenge, we encourage others to join in this important commitment to ensuring the next generation of Black leaders are a part of growing and advising the next generation of great companies.”
– Zach Reitano, Co-founder and CEO, Ro
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
U.S. companies and business leaders are coming together to hold one another accountable to achieve greater representation at the board level and beyond in the years ahead. Today, we launch with 40+ companies, with a goal to grow tenfold to more than 400+ companies within the next year.
Take action to achieve measurable change in the make-up of America’s boardrooms.
Founding Partner Pledge
We are committed to true and full representation on our Board. We pledge to add at least one Black director to our board in the next 12 months. We will be accountable to this pledge and commit to reporting out on our progress.
Charter Partner Pledge
We support the goal of true and full representation on all boards of directors. We will support and encourage the broader corporate community to accelerate these important changes.
We will share our support for The Board Challenge’s mission through posts and engagement via our social media channels and other platforms.
To learn more and take the pledge on behalf of your organization, please give us your contact information and we will follow up with details. We will not sell your contact information.
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CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY MUST BE ELEVATED TO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
IN GOOD COMPANY
Join the companies that pledge to add a Black member to their board within 12 months, or already have Black members on their board and commit to continue to work for true and full representation on their board.
Founding Pledge Partners
Committed to adding at least one Black director to their respective boards in the next 12 months.
Charter Pledge Partners
Already have at least one Black director and will continue to use their resources to accelerate change.
- Les Brun (Chairman and CEO, Sarr Group)
- Rich Barton (Co-founder and CEO, Zillow)
- Mindy Grossman (President and CEO, WW International)
- Oscar Munoz (Executive Chairman, United Airlines)
- Tony West (Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Uber)
- Shellye Archambeau (Board Director, Advisor and Author)
- Rodney Adkins (Chairman, Avnet)
- Crystal Ashby (Interim President and CEO, The Executive Leadership Council)
- Edda Collins Coleman (Co-Founder, Center for Inclusion, Belonging and Equity)
- Bernard Coleman (Chief Diversity Officer, Gusto)
- Glenn Kelman (CEO, Redfin)
- Patrick Spence (CEO, Sonos)
- Corby Reese (Managing Director, Swander Pace Capital)
- Lexi Reese (COO, Gusto)
- Tolithia Kornweibel (CMO, Gusto)
- Tim Gokey (CEO, Broadridge Financial Solutions)
- Brian Krzanich (CEO, CDK Global)
- Herb Scannell (CEO, Southern California Public Radio)
- Arborview Capital
- iNovia Capital
- Coral Chung (Founder and CEO, Senreve)
- Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO, Uber)
- Dave Girouard (Co-founder & CEO, Upstart)
- Kenneth Frazier (CEO, Merck)
- Mindy Grossman (President and CEO, WW International)
- Raj Singh (CEO, Accolade)
- Zander Lurie (CEO, SurveyMonkey)
- Matt Fiedler (CEO and Cofounder, Vinyl Me, Please)
The Board Challenge Founders