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Private companies have a very public diversity problem.

It is no secret that diversity in all boardrooms is still lacking. But for privately held companies — who are lagging behind their public counterparts — the careful scrutiny from regulators, activists, investors and stakeholders at large hasn’t been nearly as significant. 

Until now. 

In the New York Times piece The Missing Piece in the Push for Boardroom Diversity, Former Chief Executive of Xerox Ursula Burns states:

"If this isn't fixed, it will be fixed *for* us." 

Being a privately held company, with no plans to go public, does not make one immune to the mandates and regulations of those who are public. 

Consumers and employees have never had as much access to information — with as much speed and ease as they do today; and the expectations they have for the companies they spend their time working for — and money with — has never been as high. 

Whether you are “public” or “private” — and are required to share information about board diversity, and other efforts towards inclusion, equity and access — is irrelevant. They expect transparency, inside and out.  

So what can you do to proactively diversify your boardroom before it's reactively fixed for you?

Ask yourself these questions:
 
  • Is our boardroom an inclusive environment? 
  • Do we have a board diversity policy?
  • Are we addressing unconscious bias?
  • Is equity a part of our mission, not just our mission statement? 
  • Is inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) included in our annual Board assessments?
  • Do we elect Board leadership who value IDEA?
  • And most importantly: Are we hiding behind our private company status when it comes to IDEA?
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🎙 Listen (1 hr 22 min): Minda Harts Right Within Playlist on Spotify

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And if you do one thing today... make it this:
Make your boardroom accessible for diverse members.

 

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