African-American CEOs, Senior Executives: Greater diversity and Inclusion will make the U.S economy more competitive
African-Americans in Senior Level Positions Can Deliver Greater Shareholder Value to the Bottom Line
(PRNewswire) – The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), comprised of current and former African-American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 500 and equivalent companies, will issue a “call to action” to corporate America during its 2012 Recognition Gala on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, MD outside of Washington, DC.
The ELC is making the business case for diversity and inclusion to corporate leaders, in particular that investing in diverse senior leadership teams, including African-Americans, leads to greater innovation, profitability and success for corporations. Specifically, the ELC will call for support for its pipeline development programs and five-year strategic goals to add 500 African-Americans to the CEO position and one to two levels below in Fortune 500 companies as well as 200 African-Americans to the boards of publicly traded companies by 2017. It is the first time that any organization has embarked on such an ambitions initiative to promote diversity, inclusion and executive leadership.
“Diversity of thought is critical to ongoing innovation and success of global business,” said Bernard J. Tyson, ELC Board Chair and President and Chief Operating Officer of Kaiser Permanente. “It’s no secret that diverse teams increase shareholder value by bringing unique perspectives and diverse solutions to deliver bottom-line value. Our role as ELC members is to realize the important role we have as corporate executives to help CEOs and other leaders understand that African-American and other diverse leaders help build an environment of inclusion, where every perspective is value-add to the organization.”
The ELC is taking the lead on elevating the issue of diversity and inclusion in corporate America because recent statistics have raised concerns about minority representation, specifically for African-Americans, at the senior levels in corporate America. In fact, of the more than 35,000 senior executive positions at the CEO level or those one and two levels below CEO within most Fortune 500 companies, it is estimated that only 3.2 percent – or fewer than 800 – are African-American. This trend not only negatively impacts the advancement of African-Americans in the Fortune 500, but the future of American business.