USAToday Analysis: Boards reflect male-dominated tech world
Lucy was quoted in this article on the role of boards in ensuring diversity in the tech sector.
Largely anonymous boards of directors for the tech industry are conspicuously silent and â€“ for decades â€“ have been the province of white, older men. They are equally to blame for hiring trends that skew toward younger, white males, as illustrated in diversity reports recently released by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Tech boards “are an isolated place, an echo chamber,” says Lucy Marcus, an expert on boards who sits on the board of directors of Atlantia, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure company in Italy.
The composition of tech boards â€“ where a minuscule number of women, Hispanics and blacks serve â€“ is even worse than the paltry number of Hispanics and blacks who work at tech companies. “Tech companies consider themselves so cutting edge and yet they are so out of touch with their boards,” Marcus says.
Facebook’s then-seven-member board was all male until it named Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in June 2012, after it went public. “Sheryl is a corporate officer of the company,” Marcus says, sighing.
Corporate boards are supposed to provide oversight. Instead, they are part of the problem. Until they wake up and make diversity a priority because of the business imperative, the issue will likely languish. “Board directors need to be held to account,” Marcus says.