Board Diversity – Congratulations Macy’s

1 Sep

Macy’s has one of the most diverse Board of Directors in America. Probably North America.

While much attention is being paid to the gender disparity in boards (most Directors are male), we should also be looking at other areas of diversity – like race, culture, age, etc. All of these identities (and more) factor into the vast pool of experience and perspective that a Board member can bring to the table – and ultimately to how an organization succeeds.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren has taken steps to have not only equal gender representation on his board, but also has African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic-American representation, along with a variety of ages and key skills like technology and finance.

He is clear  that his choices benefit the company because they provide insight into Macy’s client base, as well as offering key areas of expertise. NOT just because of their gender, race, culture, etc. This is a rabbit hole that many organizations fall into that Lundgren has expertly sidestepped by being clear about what people and their diversity of experiences, identities and perspectives can offer.  He is quoted in the article I read as saying that diversity on his board has  “without a doubt become a tremendous advantage”. That’s likely because they are not just sitting there looking good, but are valued and heard as they contribute to discussions and decisions.

One last thing that came to light in this article very nicely is that not everyone on his board is a CEO. The pool for female CEOs is small, as it is for non-White CEOs – for reasons of systemic inequity. By looking outside the traditional pool – while maintaining clarity around the value people can offer to his Board and therefore his company – Lundgren has assembled a powerfully diverse group.

When the people who help you make decisions reflect the clients and customers you serve (and your staff), as well as offering you value, it’s bound to be a win-win – IF the table they sit around is inclusive, and their voices are heard and matter to the decision making process.

Read the full article, which has more stellar points!

See more.

copyright 2015 Annemarie Shrouder
Speaker | Workshop Facilitator | Consultant | Author on issues of diversity and inclusion.


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