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Corporate Boardroom Diversity: Why Are We Still Talking About This?

Lawrence J. Trautman

American University; George Washington University; Oklahoma City University - School of Law

April 30, 2014

17 The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice (2014)

What exactly is board diversity and why does it matter? How does diversity fit in an attempt to build the best board for any organization? What attributes and skills are required by law and what mix of experiences and talents provide the best corporate governance? Even though most companies say they are looking for diversity, why has there been such little progress? Are required director attributes, which are a must for all boards, consistent with future diversity gains and aligned with achieving high performance and optimal board composition? How might women and people of color best cultivate these skills necessary to make themselves attractive candidates and productive board directors?

My goal is to provide answers to these questions, and to discuss how a nominating committee and board can define their needs, explore their options, and provoke radical thinking about how corporate governance might be improved by reexamining the demographics and fundamental assumptions about diversity, the attributes of board standing committees, and international board diversity profiles. Hopefully, constructive thinking about diversity, board composition, and a productive dialogue among all in the corporate governance community will result.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 101

Keywords: Board Diversity, Corporate Governance, Directors, Director Selection, Discrimination, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Gender, Gender Diversity, Glass Ceiling, Law, Minorities, Minority Directors, Organizational Behavior, People of Color, Race, Racial/Gender Diversity, Sex, Strategy, Women

JEL Classification: D63, D70, D71, G30, G34, J16, J44, J70, K22, K40, K49, L20, M10, M14, M40, M50

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Date posted: April 30, 2012 ; Last revised: September 19, 2014

Suggested Citation

Trautman, Lawrence J., Corporate Boardroom Diversity: Why Are We Still Talking About This? (April 30, 2014). 17 The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice (2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2047750 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2047750

Contact Information

Lawrence J. Trautman (Contact Author)
American University ( email )
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
George Washington University ( email )
2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
Oklahoma City University - School of Law ( email )
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
United States
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