It’s no surprise that early-stage boards aren’t as diverse as they could be, but we were surprised to see that today, only ⅓ of companies have independent directors. Today, 85% of directors on Foundry direct portfolio company boards are White, and 57% of our companies currently have open board seats. As such, there is a real opportunity to build a more diverse pipeline of independent director candidates for our founders and CEOs.
We believe that increasing diversity at the most senior levels is a critical business objective, and this starts with measuring where you stand today. That’s why Foundry partnered with Bolster in this important research and as a talent partner, and had over 50 Foundry portfolio company CEOs and 10 partner funds participate in this study.
Today, the Foundry Network spans 38 VC firms (our ‘Partner Funds’) and 1500+ companies (this doesn’t include the 2,000+ companies that have graduated from a Techstars Accelerator Program). Think about it: If half of those companies also have open board roles, that means our firm has direct or indirect influence into more than 750 open board seats.
We know our network is vast and that’s why we need to do our part to promote positive change on a bigger scale. To help us do this, our partnership with Bolster will diversify our networks as a whole and allow us to share meaningful data and insights across our entire network. This means knowing when and where the opportunities are for each board, in real-time, and then connecting these vacancies to vetted talent each and every time.
That is why we encourage you to fill out a member profile on Bolster at this link. Similarly, if you are an executive interested in independent board roles or know someone who would make a fantastic independent board member, please direct them to the Bolster platform and have them participate.
We all know diverse companies perform better, and through our collective efforts, we can do our part to influence the way board rooms will look in 2021 and beyond.
You can read Bolster’s full report here.
About Bolster: Bolster is an on-demand executive talent marketplace that helps accelerate companies’ growth by connecting them with experienced executives for interim, fractional, advisory, project-based, or independent board roles. Their network today includes 3,500 executives and 700 CEO clients and includes nearly 50 membership partners that refer talented professionals from diverse backgrounds to the platform. Bolster also provides on-demand executives with software and services to help them manage their careers as independent consultants and provides startup and scaleup CEOs with software and content to help them assess, benchmark and diversify their leadership teams and boards. For more information, visit bolster.com.