New Survey Shows Progress Of Diversity And Inclusion Over Last 10 Years Still Slow In Chicago's Corporate Board Rooms And C-Suites

2012 Corporate Diversity Profile responds with tool kit that can help advance D&I

Top CEOs give insights on building an inclusive culture

Nov 15, 2012, 08:00 ET from Chicago United

CHICAGO, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- An analysis of proxy statements of Chicago's top 50 companies by revenue reveals that the representation of minorities in corporate board rooms and top executive positions has not significantly improved within the last decade despite changing population demographics, decades of affirmative action and numerous corporate diversity initiatives.

The findings of Chicago United's 2012 Corporate Diversity Profile—a biennial survey that measures racial diversity specifically in the leadership ranks of Chicago-area corporations, on corporate boards and in executive level management-- will be presented today at Chicago United's Changing Color of Leadership Conference at the Hilton Chicago.

Analysis was done at the board of directors, c-suite, and executive levels for the top 50 Chicago-headquartered companies by revenue. Of these three levels, ethnic minorities had a greater presence on boards of directors, holding 12% of the seats. When looking exclusively at C-suite positions, minority representation was 7%, and in executive positions, it was 10%.

Because the pace of diversity and inclusion (D&I) remains disappointingly slow, Chicago United has included within the newest Profile a toolkit of questions and scorecards that chief executives can use to determine what their organizations can do to improve in areas critical to D&I advancement, such as recruitment, succession planning, performance management and more. The intent, according to Chicago United President and CEO Gloria Castillo, is to enable CEOs and diversity leaders to give clear and measurable direction to their organizations for how D&I should be driven as a business imperative.

"The 2012 Corporate Diversity Profile marks a turning point in the way Chicago United advocates for more multiracial leadership in business," said Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United. "We've analyzed more robust information than we have in prior Profiles, and the tool kit points the way forward as we call for more progress in developing and placing senior executives of color. Additionally, I know CEOs will find insights from their peers about building an inclusive culture to be instructive."

Leaders who shared insights include 2012 Chicago United Bridge Awardees William C. Weldon, Chairman, Johnson and Johnson, and Gregory Wasson, President and CEO, Walgreen Co. Other contributors are Patricia Hemingway Hall, President and CEO, Health Care Service Corp. and chairwoman, Chicago United; Anne R. Pramaggiore, President and CEO, ComEd; Frederick H. Waddell, Chairman and CEO, Northern Trust Corporation and; Jan Fields, President, McDonald's USA, LLC.

Other key findings of the Profile include:

  • With the exception of the representation of Asian Americans, Chicago slightly trails national statistics when looking at board diversity based on a comparison of local data to the statistics reported by Spencer Stuart in their Board Index for 2011.
  • In looking at the pipeline for executives of color, the presence of specific minority groups is minimal in MBA programs at top tier schools; however, these students are highly represented across a vast array of other universities. Companies, therefore, should consider widening their recruitment efforts.
  • An analysis of longitudinal data from the U.S. Department of Education revealed differences in managerial career trajectory by race, indicating that opportunities remain for companies to minimize barriers that limit mobility for managers of color.

For more information on the Changing Color of Leadership Conference and Bridge Awards Dinner, please visit

About Chicago United

Chicago United is an advocacy organization made up of racially diverse CEOs and executive level management who increase economic opportunity for all races by promoting multiracial leadership development in corporate governance, the leadership pipeline and business partnerships. Through a fierce brand of constructive conversation, Chicago United fosters inclusion and provides an opportunity for senior executives from all racial and ethnic groups to learn from one another, confront and break down racial barriers and achieve shared objectives. For more information please visit

SOURCE Chicago United