January 12, 2022 – Global search firm Society has launched a board practice focused of placing LGBTQ+ directors on the boards of private and publicly traded companies. “This effort is directed to meet the immediate needs to diversify corporate boards and give an inclusive voice to the underrepresented LGBTQ+ community,” the search firm said. “By building a database of self-identified LGBTQ+ leaders who are interested in board service, we have created a highly useful tool for our clients to build more inclusive boards,” said Jordan Haberfield, Society’s North American regional director. “While we certainly recognize that there is still a long way to go, we believe we can make a difference in providing a higher percentage of LGBTQ+ and overall intersectional representation for all who are seeking more diversity for board directors.”
Society’s LGBTQ+ board practice is driven by the advent of some key changes in legislation and rules such as California Assembly Bill (AB) 979 which requires publicly held corporations headquartered in California to diversify their boards of directors with directors from “underrepresented communities.” In addition, NASDAQ’s new listing rules that require all their listed companies to publicly disclose consistent, transparent diversity statistics regarding their board of directors. Society believes similar requirements will eventually be rolled out in Europe and elsewhere to respond to the lack of LGBTQ+ representation.
Board-Ready LGBTQ+ Professionals
Society maintains a diverse roster of self-identified LGBTQ+ existing and aspiring board members. It includes accomplished board-ready LGBTQ+ professionals in a wide range of industries which have agreed to be tagged as LGBTQ+. These candidates represent the diversity, skills and credentials needed in modern-day boardrooms.
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Having worked extensively supporting LGBTQ+ organizations and causes, as well as placing members of the LGBTQ+ community into executive and board roles, Society is positioned to leverage its relationships to expand board diversity and help private and publicly held corporations create more inclusive environments. Society’s work has also allowed them to experience the interplay between management and governance in the context of many different sectors, and they therefore have a strong understanding of the factors that help this dynamic to function effectively.
From its offices in the U.K., the U.S. and New Zealand, Society’s clients come from a range of different industries and niches across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. They work broadly across many different functional areas, tackling everything from CEO and board-level appointments, through to mid-level roles, and programs of recruitment resulting from expansion or restructure.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media