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In my experience, nonprofit board composition is pretty homogenous - that is to say that I find that nonprofit boards tend not to stray in composition from the folks who first organized the organization. This would lead one to suggest that nonprofit board diversity doesn't matter that much. Possibly.

HP' which is going to be splitting into two corporations (same CEO on both boards) has announced that its boards "will comprise leaders with some of the most diverse backgrounds and professional experiences I’ve seen in my career".

The article suggests that Operation Push has had something to do with this plan and that may well be but no corporation does anything without its own best interests in mind. So, my question, why does such diversity matter to HP. The article does not provide much additional insight into incentives but I'm certainly open to hearing other's thoughts on the topic.

At the same time I propose that while nonprofit boards may be gender diverse and in my opinion not all that connected with those they serve, there may well be a lesson to be learned from the HP shift.

HP will have the most diverse tech boards in the US, say activists


Aug. 14, 2015, 11:45 AM
Hewlett-Packard is preparing to diverge into two companies this November, but it can also claim a new achievement for diversity in the national tech workspace.

HP now has the "most diverse" boards in the US, according to the nonprofit Rainbow PUSH.

The HP boards, announced earlier this week, will feature a blend of original members and new hires. Four women and two people of color will be placed on each board, reported Fortune.

Rainbow PUSH is an organization focused on social change and has been urging technology companies across the country to hire underrepresented minorities.

The nonprofit has especially ramped up its efforts in the past year, meeting with tech behemoths across the country, including Apple and Google, to discuss their diversity numbers. A survey conducted by the group last fall found only three blacks and one Hispanic among the 189 board members from 20 technology companies examined.

There were also "153 men and just 36 women. Eleven (over half) have all-white Boards," Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is spearheading Rainbow PUSH, said in a press release. He later added, "Certainly there is a long way to go."

Last March, the nonprofit met with HP at its shareholder meeting to talk about its numbers.

"We challenged them — and the tech industry — to confront the virtual exclusion of women and people of color in the tech industry," Rev. Jackson said. "HP committed to make demonstrable strides in expanding diversity and inclusion."

At HP Enterprise, Leslie A. Brun from Sarr Group, and Pamela Carter, former president Cummins Distribution, are both people of color who will be joining. The board has 13 members in total, according to an HP press release. Heading the team will be Pat Russo, who became a part of the HP board in 2011.

The board at HP Inc. will include Stacy Brown-Philpot, chief operating officer at TaskRabbit, and Stacey Mobley, former senior vice president at DuPont. Twelve people will help oversee HP Inc., which focuses on the printer and PC businesses.

HP CEO Meg Whitman will sit on both boards and serve as chairwoman for HP Inc.

“The post-separation Boards for both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. comprise leaders with some of the most diverse backgrounds and professional experiences I’ve seen in my career,” Whitman said in HP's press release.

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