Case Study

The Board Challenge accelerates movement to diversify corporate boards

In the midst of a historic social justice movement, The Board Challenge recognized and utilized public sentiment to debut a pledge for U.S. corporations to add at least one Black director to their boards within one year.


> Create a pledge.
Get dozens of forward-thinking leaders of U.S. corporations to publicly commit to appoint one board-ready Black director to their board within one year. Or, if their company’s board already had a Black director, they could add their name in support of the movement.


> Make some noise.
The Board Challenge invited high-profile corporate leaders to join the ongoing dialogue on the importance of creating boards that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. Better representation in the boardroom leads to stronger business performance and improved corporate governance – and there is no shortage of board-ready Black leaders.


> Engage CEOs and corporate leaders.
CEOs publicly committed to ‘walk the talk’ on board diversity, both online and on-camera. A one-hour CNBC special launching The Board Challenge coincided with widespread top-tier media coverage and social media influencer engagement. We also rang the opening bell at Nasdaq and NYSE to raise further visibility for the initiative.
Logo for The Board Challenge.


> One-third of new S&P 500 board directors in 2021 identified as Black.
The Board Challenge supported the appointment of 21 new Black directors to U.S. corporate boards in the first two years of the program. One-third of new independent directors on S&P 500 boards in 2021 identified as Black, up from 11% in the 2020 class and 8% in 2015, according to SpencerStuart’s Board Diversity Snapshot. More than 75 partners including Best Buy, Eventbrite, Lyft, Nasdaq, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Uber, United and Zillow signed on to support The Board Challenge.