Where’s the Diversity At? Research Finds Chicago Boardrooms Lack Minorities
Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shawn Johnson with kids at an event at a Chicago McDonald’s, one of the few companies praised for its corporate diversity in that city. Image: PRNewsFoto/McDonald’s Corporation
The boardrooms at Chicago’s major companies have a serious diversity problem. So says the latest research from Chicago United, a nonprofit advocacy group comprised of multicultural-minded CEOs. According to their findings, only 12 percent of the corporate directors at the city’s 50 largest companies are minorities. This figure is lower than the average of 15 percent at the 200 largest S&P 500 firms. Nine of these largest companies have no minorities among the board of directors at all.
Among the corporate execs and C-level officers, the figures are even lower.
“One problem is that turnover on boards is typically very slow,” writes Crain’s Chicago Business. Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United, also tells the publication that there’s a reluctance to make leadership changes while the economy is still unstable.
As we heard just this morning from EGAMI founder Teneshia Jackson Warner, diversity in consumer outreach is a must have at companies right now. And diversity starts with the internal ranks. The average 15 percent is nothing to crow about, so there’s a lot of work to do across everyone’s board. But each company must take it upon themselves to make strides.
We’ve got a video from Crain’s Chicago Business on this topic embedded below.