More than a dozen companies, including Zillow and M.M.LaFleur, have pledged to add at least one black director to their boards within the next year, according to ABC News.
Zillow, RealSelf, Nextdoor and others are among the 17 companies that have signed the initial pledge launched Wednesday and dubbed the “Board Challenge.”
The 14 other companies that have promised to add a black director in the next 12 months are Accolade, Altimeter Growth, Amperity, Bolster, Gusto, Heritage-Crystal Clean., Heritage Environmental Services, HopSkipDrive, Kin, PagerDuty, RealSelf, Ripple, Senreve, Vinyl Me and Please.
Another 27 companies that already have at least one black director on their board also pledged to encourage corporations to accelerate efforts to get full representation on boards. They include the New York Stock Exchange, Lyft, SurveyMonkey, Nasdaq, Nordstrom, United Airlines, Verizon and Weight Watchers.
The founders of “The Board Challenge,” Altimeter Capital, Valence, and Boardlist are encouraging other companies to join the commitment as well.
“America has been reminded again in tragic fashion that we must redouble our efforts to build a more inclusive society,” Brad Gerstner, the CEO of Altimeter Capital and co-founder of The Board Challenge, said in a statement. “Business leaders can’t let this moment pass us by without playing our part and taking this tangible step to build a more diverse boardroom.”
The pledge comes amid protests and riots taking place throughout cities in the U.S in support of “Black Lives Matter” which added pressure on the private sector to address these supposed racial issues.
According to Black Enterprise, nearly 40% of the companies listed on the S&P 500 stock index did not have any black directors on their board last year.
“One objection we hear is whether companies can find the kind of diverse board talent they are looking for. It is 2020 — it is not a pipeline problem, it is a perspective problem,” Guy Primus, CEO of Valence and a fellow co-founder of The Board Challenge, added in a statement.
In recent months there have been numerous “Black Lives Matter” statements from companies pledging support for the movement but they were met with skepticism for their apparent lack of diversity at the top.
In June, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced he resigned from his company’s board to make room for a Black business leader to take his place.
“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now,” Ohanian wrote on Twitter at the time. “To every