The Good (Black Girl) News: Soon a Black Woman Will Be In a Leadership Position at Every Fortune 500 Company

July 13, 2012  |  

I know this may come off as something that just sounds good on a company diversity brochure, but a non-profit organization is making sure it happens.

According to The Grio, The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), which is an independent, non-profit organization aimed at advancing African American corporate leaders and fostering diversity throughout such companies, hosted more than 200 African American women executives at the annual Women’s Leadership Forum in Minneapolis Tuesday. But the ELC didn’t stop there, the focus of the conference was on increasing the number of black women in senior leadership positions in corporate America to attain this lofty goal:

“Over the next five years, the ELC plans to work with companies to promote and hire at least one African-American woman to a CEO or senior level executive position at every fortune 500 company for the next five years. The ELC hopes to increase the number of African Americans on the boards of Americas leading company’s by 200.”

That will be a much-welcomed shift considering only an estimated 3.2 percent of senior executive positions at the CEO level are held by African-Americans, African American women specifically being far less. The Grio points out that according to the Alliance Board for Diversity, “the number of Fortune 500 board seats held by women and minorities has remained flat compared to 2004. Even worse, the number of Fortune 100 board seats held by African-Americans has actually declined.”

It’s good to know that the ELC was paying attention to this trend and with studies pointing out that black women naturally make good leaders, bringing more of them to the boardroom table should be a welcome change for Fortune 500 companies as well.

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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