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  • Writer's pictureKeith Greer

A Seat at the Table

How many times have you seen a big corporation do something that seems - just plain wrong?

Most Corporate Boards are incredibly homogenous and lack diversity. Without diversity, the viewpoints of entire populations can be lost.

Strides have been made in recent years, especially for women. Ethnic and racial minorities are starting to see a presence on Corporate and Nonprofit Boards as well.

In 2011, 29 percent of Fortune 1000 Companies had at least 20 percent female representation in the Board Room, today that number is 45 percent. And while that is great progress, we want to see 50 percent+ representation of women on Boards at 100 percent of Fortune 1000 Companies.

Even with progress being made, some minority groups are not experiencing the same success. LGBTQ+ representation on Corporate Boards is almost non-existent. It is estimated that there are less than 10 openly LGBTQ+ individuals on Fortune 500 Boards.

Having an inclusive Board, where we have a seat at the table, gives a voice to the nearly 15 million Americans that identify as LGBTQ+. We can shape policies, employment, laws, and donations that impact our community when our voice is present at the top.

But right now we struggle.

Studies from 2018 highlight that LGBTQ+ people experience higher poverty rates, and lower rates of higher eduction compared to our heterosexual peers. And while acceptance for marriage equality is growing, our community faces housing and employment discrimination in many areas around the country.

The Center for American Progress reported that 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ individuals have removed items from their resume to hide their LGBTQ+ status or gender identity. Additionally, between 11 percent and 28 percent of LGB individuals report losing a promotion because of their sexual orientation. And 27 percent of transgender workers report being fired, denied employment or a promotion within the past year.

So how can we start to change that?

We need to get ourselves a seat in the Board Room.

Most of the top Boards will require previous experience. That’s where nonprofits come into play. Nonprofit Boards, like Equality HI, are always looking for new members to help promote their cause, provide their unique perspective, and help do important work in the world.

What Nonprofit Boards give back is experience. They provide a place to learn how an organization functions, how to implement change, gather support for your ideas, and they empower you to become a leader.

Whether you come with Board experience or not, we welcome you. Equality HI is dedicated to providing a safe place for individuals to learn how to be a great Board Member. You will have the opportunity to expand your skill set, take on new roles, take risks that might fail, and have a group that will rally around you until you succeed.

If you are interested in joining our board, use our Contact Form to get in touch with us and let’s continue this discussion together.

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