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The Important Role Independent Directors Play on Impacting Private Company Board Diversity

A few weeks ago we published Bolster’s Board Benchmarking study of 250 CEOs and 650+ board directors. It’s proving to be a real asset in advancing the conversation around increasing board diversity, top of mind for many companies today.

As Linda Akutagawa, chair of the Alliance for Board Diversity, was quoted saying in the NYT earlier this week: “The ideal scenario is for companies to increase their diversity without external pressures. But what gets measured, gets done.”

So today I’m excited to participate in a panel with our friends and partners from Valence, Gunderson Dettmer, BLCK VC, Sequoia and Santa Clara University’s Black Corporate Board Readiness Program. It’s important to note that we recognize that not all dimensions of diversity are represented on this panel. Our partner and host, Valence, is the leading community of Black professionals, and as such, the panelists skew in that direction, but the conversation and the data addresses all traditionally underrepresented execs and the opportunity, and imperative, to get them into the boardroom, which Bolster is committed to supporting.

The study data highlights many of the board diversity challenges we face today, and offers some initial solutions for the panel to react to, discuss, and elaborate on.

The data is powerful, and actionable. Below are the slides to digest and share.

What CEOs and Board Leaders Can Do To Take Immediate Action:

  1. Make space for Independent Directors on your board.
  2. Bring on Independent Directors early and often (don’t wait until the C stage or later!)
  3. Always be recruiting and building relationships with diversity in mind.
  4. Look for ways to build cohesion and inclusion on your board right now.
  5. Practice advocacy to broaden access for others.

We hope Bolster can be a resource to you as well…

CEOs - A special offer to support adding diverse executive talent to your team:
Participants of the Gunderson, Valence, BLCK VC event, Key Strategies for Increasing Board Diversity, are eligible for 1 free assisted executive search on Bolster. To redeem, sign up as a Bolster client and email clients@bolster.com, mentioning this event.

Executives - Create a free member profile today:
We are actively filling hundreds of roles and invite you to join Bolster now so that you don’t miss out on being considered for all of these opportunities.

VC and PE Firms - Distribute the benchmarking study to your portfolio CEOs:
Would you like visibility into the diversity and composition of the boards in your portfolio? Join Bolster as a portfolio partner for free access to the study, and to connect your CEOs with top talent and advisors. You can even pass along the special offer above for 1 free assisted search.

I hope you’ll keep in touch:
Please subscribe to the Bolster blog to stay informed of new resources and ideas. And if you are curious what’s on my mind, you can subscribe to my personal blog here.

Bolster Up!

-Matt Blumberg, June 10th, 2021