Starbucks: Setting the Example for Diverse Board Membership?

Andrew Ross Sorkin, writing for the New York Times, recently covered Starbucks’ board of directors, which — thanks to three newly announced additions — is set to be one of the nation’s most diverse boards. “The new directors, who will require shareholder approval, will be Rosalind Brewer, an African-American woman who is president and chief executive of Sam’s Club and vice president of Walmart Stores; Satya Nadella, an Indian-American who is chief executive of Microsoft Corporation; and Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, the Denmark-born executive chairman of the Lego Brand Group,” writes Sorkin. So why is this a big deal? Well, while our nation is growing increasingly diverse, and women and minorities a

What Vogue Can Teach Us About Being (Genuinely!) Inclusive

Companies have gotten wise to the idea that their customers want to see diversity in their organizations, both within their employee ranks and incorporated into their public messages, such as advertisements. A CNBC article by Michelle Castillo from 2016 titled “Study: Americans want more diversity in ads” says Americans want to see the growing diversity of the American populace reflected in their advertisements. According to the article, “A new study by BabyCenter and market research company YouGov that surveyed over 2,000 people finds that 80 percent of parents like to see diverse families in advertisements. Sixty-six percent said that brands that showed reverence for all kinds of families

The Cognitive Benefits of Diversity—and Inclusion

In 2014, Katherine W. Phillips wrote an intriguing article for Scientific American titled “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter.” The article was republished by Scientific American in the wake of President Trump’s executive order on immigration, so we thought we’d revisit it as well. Phillips starts out by acknowledging that diversity is not always easy. “Research has shown that social diversity in a group can cause discomfort, rougher interactions, a lack of trust, greater perceived interpersonal conflict, lower communication, less cohesion, more concern about disrespect, and other problems,” she writes. “So what is the upside?” Informational Diversity Informational diversity is the idea that “wh

What Stock Market Decisions Can Teach You About the Pervasive Impact of Unconscious Bias

We’ve written a great deal about the impact that unconscious bias can have on important decisions. Biases that we are completely unaware of can push us to make sub-optimal choices. That means we may not only be unfairly treating those who are different from us, but also acting against our own self-interest. National Public Radio recently aired a report by NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam titled “How Biases Affect Stock Analyst Predictions,” which underscores this point very nicely. Few fields in the business world depend more on objective examination than analyzing companies and predicting their future financial performance. This field is unabashedly driven purely by numbers

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