New research shows the significance of LGBTQ+ representation on boards and highlights current barriers to entry for out LGBTQ+ leaders
Out Leadership's four-day summit to begin February 2
NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Out Leadership, the oldest and largest coalition of global companies working to improve LGBTQ+ equality in the world through the power of business, is launching its first ever Quorum Summit, a first-of-its-kind global talent and advocacy initiative focused on increasing LGBTQ+ representation on corporate boards. The four-day summit begins on Tuesday, February 2 and features key speakers from Quorum sponsors KPMG, Ropes & Gray, Goldman Sachs, Egon Zehnder International and from Out Leadership.
"For too long, LGBTQ+ inclusion has been overlooked and undervalued as a crucial part of diversity metrics on corporate boards. Out Leadership is changing that," said Out Leadership CEO and Founder Todd Sears. "For the past seven years, we've been filling critical knowledge gaps to bring intersectional diversity to a new level through our Quorum initiative. We're proud of the momentum our work has created, especially in the last twelve months from California AB 979 to the Nasdaq's diversity proposal. Today's summit, and the ground-breaking research we're launching will hopefully take that momentum to the next level—accessible to leaders and companies of all levels.
The "Visibility Counts: The LGBTQ+ Board Leadership Opportunity" research report, which will be launched at the Quorum summit, is the first-ever research into LGBTQ+ board diversity. Published with Ropes & Gray, the research includes the first-ever LGBTQ+ Inclusive Board Diversity Report on the Fortune 500. It also contains tactical policy examples, best practices and seeks to expand the board diversity conversation globally to be LGBTQ+ inclusive.
Key Findings from "Visibility Counts: The LGBTQ+ Board Opportunity" include:
- Only 24 out of 5,690 Director seats in the Fortune 500 are held by openly LGBTQ_ leaders, or 0.2%
- 88% of LGBTQ+ senior leaders surveyed said that this lack of representation directly resulted in LGBTQ+ leaders have been excluded from board opportunities. The seven main reasons for this lack of representation come down to:
- Lack of inclusion in diversity recruiting efforts,
- Perceived "lack of demand" among major search firms for LGBTQ+ board representation from their corporate clients,
- Perceived "lack of offer" for LGBTQ+ board representation,
- Gaps in data collection and reporting,
- Anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in policy and practice,
- Self-exclusion, and
- Low turnover and long tenure of board members
"Despite major progress on LGBTQ+ civil rights, as well as inclusion and visibility into the workforce of over 90% of the Fortune 500, the board room is still "stuck in the closet" when it comes to empowering LGBTQ+ out leaders and creating equal opportunities," continued Sears. "The "business case" for board diversity was settled decades ago, but legacy structures continue to impede efforts to achieve the diversity of thought and perspective that growth-minded companies need to innovate. It's my hope that our summit and research will finally bring this to light, and show CEOs, board chairs and companies how many of these barriers to entry LGBTQ+ inclusive diversity can be solved by taking a proactive, policy based and data-reporting approach."
Out Leadership's Quorum addresses LGBTQ+ board inclusion across three pillars: policy, talent and advocacy. The program offers board readiness trainings and seminars to executive leaders while also providing best practices and policy recommendations for companies looking for a place to start. Quorum works with pension funds, governments and companies around the world. To find out more about Quorum and Out Leadership's other proprietary talent accelerators, please visit https://outleadership.com/talent-accelerators/.
For more information about the Quorum Summit, including information on how to register, please visit https://outleadership.com/event/quorum-summit-2021/.
About Out Leadership:
Out Leadership is the oldest and largest global LGBTQ+ business advisory that partners with the world's most influential companies to build business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBTQ+ equality forward. We believe that LGBTQ+ inclusion positively impacts business results, and that including LGBTQ+ people at the most senior level of executive leadership builds business. We call this idea Return on Equality™.
Comprised of approximately 85 global member firms and dedicated to cross-industry collaboration, Out Leadership is a certified B Corporation. Out Leadership convenes CEOs, business leaders and allies at exclusive invitation only events across 4 continents. Out Leadership also operates three talent initiatives: Quorum, which aims to increase LGBTQ+ representation on corporate boards; OutNEXT, the first global talent development program for emerging LGBTQ+ leaders; and OutWOMEN, connecting senior level LGBT+ women in business. To learn more, please visit https://outleadership.com/
SOURCE Out Leadership