to attend the 2008 Marketing to African-Americans with Excellence (MAAX)
Summit? Order the workbook which contains hard copies of the presentations
made by some of the nation's top experts on the Black consumer marketing,
R. L. Polk
Starcom MediaVest Group
U.S. Census Bureau
2009 by Target Market News Inc. All rights reserved
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lost ground in the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies
(July 17, 2009) A recent study on African Americans on boards of
directors of Fortune 500 companies commissioned by The Executive
Leadership Council(R) found that the number of board seats held by
African Americans has declined since its inaugural board report released
in 2004. The percentage of African Americans on corporate boards
decreased from 8.1 in 2004 to 7.4 percent in 2008, a .7 percent decline.
Four years ago, African Americans held 449 corporate board seats and
today they hold 413 or thirty-six fewer.
"African Americans lost ground in the boardrooms of corporate America
between 2004 and 2008," said Dr. Ancella B. Livers, executive director
of The Executive Leadership Council's Institute for Leadership
Development & Research. "The total number of board seats during the
period declined as well, but not nearly as much as the number of seats
held by African Americans. In light of current economic conditions and
board reviews, there is an opportunity for companies to increase board
diversity and reverse the downward trend."
There were 5,556 director seats available in 2008, 16 fewer than the
5,572 available in 2004. The importance of diversity on corporate boards
is likely to become more apparent as organizations recognize that
changing demographics are altering the nation's business needs. Many
corporations realize the benefits they have achieved from a diverse
workforce and are beginning to make inroads on their governing boards of
directors. The study shows that the higher an organization is on the
Fortune 500 list, the more likely it is to have African Americans on its
board of directors.
"It's been proven again and again that companies with board members who
reflect gender & ethnic diversity also tend to have better returns on
equity and sales," said Carl Brooks, president and CEO of The Executive
Leadership Council. "Businesses understand the economic benefits of
diversity. They talk about it, but not all of them have a plan for
achieving it. We expect this report to spur meaningful progress in this
important area of management and governance."
Even as many Fortune 500 organizations understand the importance of
having diverse boards, gains are sometimes difficult to maintain. Since
the original report in 2004, the mix of Fortune 500 companies has
changed with some companies moving off the list and other, previously
smaller organizations moving onto it. Companies are reevaluating their
governance structure following the economic turmoil of the past year and
now have the opportunity to introduce new experience and thinking on
As a member of the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD), The Executive
Leadership Council is a strategic partner with Catalyst, the Hispanic
Association for Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and Leadership Education
for Asian Pacifics (L.E.A.P.). The Alliance uses a business focus to
support and advance the business interests of executive women and
minorities in the workplace, including increasing the diversity pipeline
in corporate America and guaranteeing the fair representation of women
and minorities on corporate boards.
Corporate boards remain overwhelmingly white and male. ABD partners are
determined to make the business case for inclusion on corporate boards
through the belief that shareholder interests are best served by
promoting the diversification of boardrooms within publicly traded U.S.
This is the third publication of the Census of African Americans on
Boards of Directors of Fortune 500 Companies. This census is a listing
of African American board members of Fortune 500 companies and is based
on data from fiscal year 2007. In addition to presenting a listing of
African-American board members of Fortune 500 companies, the 2008 census
examines firm and industry data of Fortune 500 companies regarding the
extent to which African Americans are represented on corporate boards.
It also examines geographical data of Fortune 500 companies regarding
the extent to which African Americans are represented on corporate
Target Market News
Congratulates the Recipients
of the 2009
of the Year
of the Year
LOUIS CARR President. Broadcast
of the Year
CRYSTAL WORTHEM Multicultural Marketing Manager
Ford Motor Co.
of the Year
ESTHER FRANKLIN Executive Vice Pres.,
Director of Cultural Identities
Starcom Mediavest Group
of the Year
President / CEO
"UNDER THE INFLUENCE"
Tracing the Hip-Hop Generation's Impact on Brands, Sports, & Pop Culture
By Erin O. Patten
Hip-Hop culture has had a profound impact on marketing in the past two
decades and it provided an intersection for brands, sports, and popular
culture. Erin O. Patton documents this impact in his new book, Under the
Influence--Tracing the Hip-Hop Generation's Impact on Brands, Sports, & Pop
Adam Graves, senior vice president of Deutsch Advertising says of Under
the Influence and Patton: "If there are any marketers out there that still
think they can ignore the urban market they'd better think again...This
isn't just a book for so-called urban marketers; this should be
mandatory reading for every marketer in the country."
Click here to order