Increasing Black Representation on Boards
The convergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic and deepening awareness of structural racism in the United States catalyzed the creation of the Black Corporate Board Readiness program, embodying Santa Clara University’s purpose of fashioning a more humane, just, and sustainable world. Learn more about BCBR history here.
From its genesis, we imagined BCBR as a program for and by a community of Black executives and corporate directors. Every participant is accompanied by a Mentor with lived experience as a Black corporate board director, and most of the program modules are facilitated by Black corporate directors and executives. The program content focuses on the principles of corporate governance, tools for the board search process, and authentic conversations about the realities and responsibilities of being Black in the boardroom. Participants learn through the lived experience of pioneering and iconic Black corporate directors, and from each other.
Like most executive education programs, there is a registration fee for accepted applicants; employers of participants often pay this as an investment in talent development. While there is no guarantee of corporate board placement, our key outcome metric for BCBR Alumni is new public or private corporate board placements.
The journey to a first corporate board seat is heavily dependent on in-network referral from those connected to opportunities. Our investment in accompanying BCBR Alumni as they pursue board opportunities and once they’re in the boardroom with our New Directors Forum is possible because of the generosity of our Sponsors.
Sponsors make possible in-person networking events, provision of curated BCBR Alumni lists as potential candidates for board opportunities that come to our attention, and continuing education and engagement across BCBR cohorts and the broader community.
Annual donations to the BCBR program sustain our ambition to close the network gap for Black executives seeking corporate directorships. To make a contribution, please specify “BCBR Program Fund” in the “Special Instructions/Other Designation” portion of the donation form.
Barry Lawson Williams BCBR Endowment Fund
The Barry Lawson Williams BCBR Endowment Fund was motivated through collective action of BCBR participants during our inaugural year. An endowment fund has now been established with an initial goal of $10M to ensure accompaniment of the BCBR community in perpetuity.
Barry Lawson Williams served on 14 public company boards and created the Black Corporate Directors Time Capsule Project to capture the corporate board experiences of 50 seasoned Black directors for the benefit of new and aspiring Black corporate directors. A member of our Program Advisory Committee, this endowment honors the energy and passion Barry has invested in making the idea of BCBR a reality.