Board Diversity Revisited: New Rationale, Same Old Story?

BY Lisa M. Fairfax

Recently, board diversity advocates have relied on market- or economic-based rationales to convince corporate America to increase the number of women and people of color in the boardroom, in lieu of moral or social justifications. This shift away from moral or social justifications has been deliberate, and it stems from a belief that corporate America would better respond to justifications that centered on the corporate bottom line. However, recent empirical data reveals that despite the increased reliance on, and apparent acceptance of, market- or economic-based rationales for board diversity, there has been little change in actual board diversity. This article argues that the relative stagnation in board diversity can best be attributed to diversity advocates’ over emphasis on the importance of business rationales for diversity, coupled with their failure to acknowledge or otherwise bolster the importance of social and moral justifications for board diversity efforts. As a result, this Article not only concludes that business justifications may be insufficient, at least standing alone, to advance board diversity, but also insists that diversity advocates must pay greater attention to the role of social and moral justifications in the effort to diversify the corporate boardroom.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 89 N.C. L. Rev. 855 (2011)

Related Content

  • A Corporate Offshore Transitions Tax
  • Susan C. Morse
  • Power Down: Tasers, The Fourth Amendment, and Police Accountability in the Fourth Circuit
  • Ian A. Mance
  • Waiving Due Process (Goodbye): Stipulated Orders of Removal and the Crisis in Immigration Adjudication
  • Jennifer Lee Koh
  • Senate Bill 33 Grants Protection to Emergency Room Providers . . . and Just About Everyone Else, Too
  • Elizabeth A. Hill
  • Future Conduct and the Limits of Class-action Settlements
  • James Grimmelmann
  • Keynote: Privacy & Consumer Protection in Social Media
  • Julie Brill

Most Popular Pieces