Wednesday, June 01, 2005

JS Online: Boards slowly opening up to women, minorities

JS Online: Boards slowly opening up to women, minorities: "Boards slowly opening up to women, minorities
Time is right, seasoned executive Jackson says
Posted: May 31, 2005

Tannette Johnson-Elie

Seasoned business executive Gwen Jackson has fought long and hard to help organizations to see beyond tokenism in appointing people of color to their boards, especially as they look to increase diversity now that Sarbanes-Oxley is fueling lots of turnover on corporate boards.
'It's having boards that look like the community that you're trying to represent,' says Jackson, chairman emeritus of the Greater Milwaukee Chapter of the American Red Cross and a retired executive for Brills Inc., a former Wisconsin men's clothing chain. 'I see more boards trying to make that happen. It's slowly coming of age. I'd like to see it go a little faster.'
Jackson has been on numerous non-profit boards over many decades. She has seen the tenor of boardroom diversity change and offers wisdom for women and minorities who hope to step onto boards. Recent corporate scandals and greater oversight, much of it to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, has put pressure on companies to improve corporate governance, which makes diversity increasingly important at the board level."

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