The Board Diversity Action Alliance, a new initiative aiming to increase board diversity has been launched by former Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns, former Whole Foods Chair Gabrielle Sulzberger, global CEO advisory firm Teneo, the Ford Foundation, and the Executive Leadership Council.

Ursula M. Burns said:

“We know that leadership starts at the top and presence makes an impact. If the outcome we seek is one where companies value the positive differences of the customers they serve and the communities where they operate, then we need to accelerate the drive for more inclusive representation on boards. This is the reason we formed the Board Diversity Action Alliance . . . to engage people and companies in positions of influence to be the change we want to see and push for more progress.”

The new alliance is a business-led initiative taking action to increase the representation of racially and ethnically diverse directors on corporate boards of directors, beginning with Black directors. Founding signatories of the initiative include Dow, Macy’s, Mastercard, PNC, Uber, UPS, and WW.

By joining as signatories, the companies have committed to:

  • Increasing the number of Black directors on the board of directors to one or more;
  • Disclosing of the self-identified race and ethnicity of directors on corporate boards;
  • Reporting on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion measures on an annual basis.

Declan Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Teneo, said:

“Board diversity and especially increasing the number of Black executives on boards is a critical issue for CEOs and corporate directors. Teneo is proud to be involved in driving this important diversity initiative and we will continue to dedicate the resources of our firm to help ensure its success.”