Pittsburgh event seeks to get more minorities in the boardroom

EXECUTIVES OF EXCELLENCE—David Motley, BlueTree Venture Fund and Brenda J. Lauderback, Denny’s Inc., along with Highmark Health officials Maria D. Anderson and Evan Frazier, spread words of wisdom encouraging each other. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Event sparks conversation for more Black female executives

The abundance of recent news reports of alleged sexual misconduct against women proves the conversations that occurred during the November 2017 National Conversation on Board Diversity event sponsored by 2020 Women on Boards was timely and essential.
With the belief that diversity of thought results in better decisions, organizers advocate that women on boards bring different perspectives to the difficult issues facing today’s corporations in all professions.
One woman making a difference and bringing diversity to the boardroom is former Pittsburgher and Robert Morris University graduate Brenda J. Lauderback, chairman of Denny’s Corporation and former president of Wholesale and Retail for Nine West Group Inc. “This conversation on board diversity could not be taking place at a better time,” said Lauderback. She was the keynote speaker during Pittsburgh’s 2020 WOB event.

ONE OF A FEW—Former Pittsburgher Brenda J. Lauderback, chairman of Denny’s Corporation, shares words of wisdom and tips concerning corporate leadership.

Speaking on three key areas, Lauderback said board diversity is more than getting additional women, Blacks or Hispanics on corporate boards. “It’s about cultural diversity. Whether people want it or not this country will become majority minority, which is already happening in cities around the U.S. and the world.”
Her second point addressed women and diverse talent having an active voice in management, and on corporate boards. “It has to go beyond checking the box. It goes without saying that women and minorities must have the skills required to qualify for a board seat, but we also must be very intentional about wanting to make a difference once we get on theses boards and in the board room.” In her third point she said, “Corporate boards of directors are not diverse because most companies plain and simply just started looking in the right places or their unconscious bias has come to light.


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