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Abstract

The excellent conference organized by Darren Rosenblum comparing global approaches to board diversity inspired me to think about how progress in this context has unfolded in the United States. Even though the issue of diversity on corporate boards has become a global issue, few U.S. boards have moved beyond mere tokenism when it comes to female directors. One reason for the lack of diversity among corporate directors is that board selection has been based on membership in a particular network. This essay, however, focuses on the persisting problem of discrimination—a more invidious explanation for the fact that very few corporate boards reflect the gender and racial diversity of their workers, consumers, and the communities in which they do business.