In this second article on corporate governance where we focus on DEI challenges, one of our operating assumptions is that unless the board of a public company reflect the diversity of its customers, its employees and the communities it serves and operate within, it will fail to serve all of its various stakeholder in an equitable way. It will lack empathy for its suppliers, not fully appreciate the needs and the aspirations of its employees, will exploit earth’s resources for its own financial benefit while neglecting harms done to others, will strive for minimal legal standards and remain unconstrained of moral standards – mostly in subtle ways while their PR machinery will inflate their goodwill, philanthropy and amplify slogans like “do no evil” while invading personal privacy with no limits.
In continuation of our research and analysis of the current state of diversity in leadership of the largest and most influential global companies, we take, in this issue, a further look into specific sectors and their performance and tendencies introduced in the last MyLLife Digest issue. We have looked at the largest 10 companies in 10 different industrial sectors that influence and pervade our day-to-day existence. We see differences among companies within a sector as we see differences among the sectors themselves. Chart 1 shows the board diversity in terms of gender and racial (African American) while we recognize there are other diversity parameters that we need to look into such as other minorities, stakeholder representations, etc. beyond the current focus of DEI.
Drilling further down into the energy sector, led by Exxon Mobil and Chevron - we take a specific look at industry trends especially within these Oil and Gas behemoths. From a bird’s eye view we see overall a predominantly white male dominated industry. In some instances, as evident below, we were surprised to see entire representation as aforementioned without any diversity present.
Energy Transfer which is public company but acts more like a private equity has no female or AA board members. We also find Conoco Phillips, World Fuel Services and Plains GP holding having no racial diversity in their boards. We will continue to explore the other sectors and call out lack of diversity as we see it in their boards.