– Winning boards leverage the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion to enhance their governance and create long-term value for their organizations and stakeholders.
– Three winners were chosen based on how their composition, culture, and practices align with the company’s DE&I objectives and how DE&I approaches impact the organization and external stakeholders.
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom practices representing more than 22,000 board members, announced three boards, spanning a cross section of company sizes and industries, that have been awarded this year’s NACD Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) awards. In collaboration with Deloitte, the NACD DE&I Awards highlight forward-thinking boards that leverage the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion to enhance their governance and create long-term value for their organizations and stakeholders.
This year’s winners demonstrated successful implementation of organizational best practices in DE&I, including
- aligning company values with DE&I initiatives;
- fully engaging senior executives in DE&I efforts to gain leadership buy-in from the top down;
- developing a deep understanding of company culture and taking clear steps to effect change;
- prioritizing efforts to create a safe, people-centered environment for employees;
- actively engaging with employees and communities and cultivating strong stakeholder relationships; and
- establishing measurable key performance indicators to track progress against set goals and priorities, including targets to ensure long-term growth and development.
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The winners of the 2021 NACD DE&I Awards
- Cascade Public Media – This board believes that “diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably linked to fulfilling [its] mission to ‘inspire a smarter world’ where residents of the Pacific Northwest can learn, grow, and participate in effective civic dialogue and make a difference for one another and for the region.” A public media organization based in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, the company is committed to recruiting and retaining future-focused and diverse employees and board members; to creating an inclusive culture that encourages all staff and directors to fully contribute and innovate; and to governance that holds DE&I at the center of its makeup, vision, actions, and results. Within the company’s DE&I strategic plan, the board has included key performance indicators related to board demographic metrics and board culture objectives. Thirty percent of the current board are Black, Indigenous, or people of color and 40 percent are women.
- FHLBank San Francisco – Their three-year plan is focused on advancing DE&I through engaging responsibly in honest conversations that deepen allyship and sponsorship; assessing and improving access to opportunity across all business activities; and developing new or enhanced programs that tackle housing, jobs, and economic equity in the bank’s diverse communities. The bank’s newly founded DE&I office, in collaboration with the board’s DE&I committee, has set performance targets for workforce diversity, diverse supplier spend, diverse dealer transactions, and treasury discretionary activity. The board has also made great efforts to diversify itself. Today, 7 of the 15 board members are from diverse racial groups and 6 of the 15 are women. In March of this year, Teresa Bryce Bazemore was named president and CEO of the bank and is the first Black woman CEO in the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
- The Progressive Corporation – Their DE&I program includes four primary objectives: maintaining a fair and inclusive work environment; employees reflecting its customers; leadership reflecting the company’s employees; and contributing to the communities in which the company operates. Additionally, this past year, the company committed to doubling representation of people of color in senior leadership positions by 2025. In 2020, 56 percent of leadership promotions were awarded to women and 25 percent of such promotions to people of color. The company is one of few in the Fortune 500 to have both a woman CEO and a woman chair. The board has achieved gender parity, and 17 percent of the board is ethnically diverse. The company’s annual “Inclusion Week” supports employees in building their inclusive skill sets and in implementing them in a business context.
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“This year’s NACD DE&I Award winners are true corporate citizens who have forged unique paths for their organizations,” said Peter R. Gleason, NACD president and CEO. “The boards that govern these companies have transformed words into meaningful action and serve as models for forward-thinking board leadership across industries nationwide.”
Nominations were evaluated by an independent selection committee composed of leading corporate directors. They assessed how the composition, culture, and practices of nominated boards align with the company’s DE&I objectives and how the nominated boards DE&I approaches impact their organizations and external stakeholders. From the previously announced group of 10 finalists, three winners were selected. Winners were formally announced on November 9 during mainstage programming at the 2021 NACD Virtual Directorship Awards, along with this year’s NACD Directorship 100 honorees, including Director of the Year and the annual B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award.
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