The New York Times reports today that the diversity of corporate boards hasn’t made much progress over the past five years. Overall, non-white directors make up 12.5 percent of board seats today, up from 10 percent in 2015.
I can’t say I’m too surprised about this, but I was interested in the accompanying chart that breaks things down by industry sector:
What’s intriguing here is that the industry that gets the most public pressure is information tech but they’re far from being the biggest problem. Five years ago they were among the top performers and today they are the top performer.
Compare that to the good ’ol boys in the oil bidness, who were at the bottom in 2015 and remain at the bottom five years later. But how often do they get Twitter mobs coming after them? Ditto for all the others, who could stand to see a few pickets or boycotts far more than the folks in Silicon Valley.
Perhaps the people pressing for diversity are mostly youngish technophiles, and tech companies are what they know best. There’s also the ironic fact that tech companies have all been pressured into reporting their progress on diversity goals, which makes it a lot easier to see where they’re falling down.
Still, how about a campaign targeting Exxon and Halliburton? These are the companies that really need a swift kick.