Women’s Month Spotlight: Black Women Increase in Board Representation

Black women held at least a third of net new seats in the S&P 500 in January, increasing the representation and equity of power in the boardroom. As we celebrate the achievements of influential figures during Women’s History Month, Black women continue to break monumental barriers in corporate America and beyond.

Pamela Culpepper made company history at Prada this year as the first Black woman on the board in the company’s century old history. Not only is Pamela directing the board’s ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy, she is the co-founder of female-led consultancy Have Her Back, aimed at leveling the playing field for women in the workplace.

While the progress of board representation is to be celebrated, it is far overdue. Pioneering chemical engineer Paula T. Hammond’s extensive experience as head of cancer research for MIT make her a natural board pick, however, she only first was approached to join a board in 2020.

Despite attempts at pushback regarding Nasdaq’s board diversity quotas by some, board representation continues to evolve. With thirteen companies on the S&P 500 like Morgan Stanley and Honeywell increasing their number of women on boards, the gender progression that Women’s month stands for is in full swing.

In an effort to help produce more Black female board members, veteran executives Merline Saintil and Robin Washington have joined forces to create Black Women on Boards. Black Women on Boards will take the form of a six-month accelerator program that includes workshops, webinars, individual coaching sessions, and whatever else it takes to place high-potential executives into board roles that are a good fit. 

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