Corporate board diversity is good for business. But it’s not the norm — and that’s why a law is needed.

Should publicly owned companies in Illinois be required by law to include minorities on their boards of directors?

A polarized debate on this question has been brought to the forefront by state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, whose House Bill 3394 passed the Illinois House of Representatives in March. This bill would require a minimum of one woman, one African-American and one Latino on these boards by the end of 2020. The debate has been ugly, and the bill has been decried as “anti-business” and unnecessary by some Republicans. It now moves to the Senate.

Some might find this bill to be coercive, and some may find it shocking. However, this bill should be embraced as forward-thinking and beneficial for Illinois businesses.

The best and most current thinking on corporate health emphasizes that diversity among organizational leadership results in more nimble, creative problem-solving in our rapidly changing world. A 2015 study by McKinsey and Co. found that companies that excel in racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their peers, and those excelling in gender diversity are 15 percent more likely.


Columns,Feeds,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago,Opinion

via Opinion – Chicago Tribune

May 3, 2019 at 04:42PM

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