CBx Daily

Waiting For C-Suite Results From Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Efforts Continues

Sep 25

By Gary J.Nix

  • Only 3.2% of executive or senior-level managers at Fortune 500 companies are Black
  • There are only 3 Black Fortune 500 CEOs

We are almost four months out from the time when companies started publishing grandiose statements about their feelings and upcoming actions regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While the communicated feelings have been absorbed, many people are pressing these same companies about the activity (or lack thereof), especially when it comes to efforts being made in the C-suite and other powerful, senior roles within their organizations. With only 3.2% of executive or senior-level managers at Fortune 500 companies being Black, are we actually getting closer to closing the C-suite DEI gap?

Why This Matters: This DEI conversation is not new, especially considering there are only three Black Fortune 500 CEOs. The talk around this subject is decades-long, even after studies, most notably this one by McKinsey & Co., presents hard data that proves companies that are more diverse outperform those that are not. Furthermore, the swell in conversation, in part due to technological advances in the ways we’re able to communicate at scale, has made it even more necessary for businesses to take a stance on the issues that affect society today.

23% of companies in the S&P 500 have minority representation, up 92% from 2014

There has been an upward trend at least on corporate boards where 23% of companies in the S&P 500 have minority representation, up 92% from 2014. The issue there, however, is that it has not affected the C-Suite at all, and is often used as a cover to tout DEI efforts. Better representation on corporate boards is a good thing, but it does not replace the need for better representation at high-ranking levels that affect businesses on a day-to-day basis.

Situational Awareness: There was a saying coined in 1976, that when it comes to bringing things to light, one should: “follow the money.” Although that statement was pointed towards political corruption at the time, it is fully transferable to businesses and brands. Just remember where the money comes from… because it comes from the people. If you can’t get the people to come to you, the money won’t either.

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