At Competent Boards, we proudly celebrate Pride Month, recognizing the invaluable contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in shaping a more inclusive and diverse corporate landscape. We believe that diversity strengthens boardrooms and leads to better decision-making. This month is a reminder of the ongoing journey toward equality and acceptance, which is fundamental to our mission.

Recent studies highlight the significant benefits of diversity and inclusion in business. According to Deloitte’s 2023 DEI Transparency Report, companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion see tangible benefits, including improved employee engagement and innovation​​. Furthermore, a 2023 report by the World Economic Forum emphasizes that inclusive practices can drive better business outcomes, particularly in fostering creativity and resilience​. Despite this, the 2023 LGBTQ+ Board Monitor found that LGBTQ+ individuals make up 7.1% of the U.S. population but only account for 0.6% of Fortune 500 board members and 0.8% of CEOs. This is due to a variety of factors including the significant discrimination the LGBTQ+ community has faced, the profound and lasting demographic impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the absence of supportive networks due to exclusion from non-LGBTQ+ spaces. 

Pride Month is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of fostering inclusive environments where everyone can thrive. Competent Boards is committed to supporting and empowering LGBTQ+ leaders by promoting practices and policies that ensure all voices are heard and valued. This commitment is reflected in our curriculum, which includes modules on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), aimed at equipping board directors and senior professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to champion these values within their organizations.

In light of recent social movements and increased awareness of systemic inequalities, it is more important than ever for leaders to be proactive in their DEI efforts. By incorporating inclusive practices, companies can not only enhance their corporate culture but also contribute to broader societal change.

Competent Boards Faculty and Association of LGBTQ+ Corporate Directors member Lara Shewchuk comments:

“I have experienced first-hand how Helle Bank Jorgensen and Competent Boards go far beyond the concept of inclusion – from sponsorship and opening doors, to their ever-evolving curriculum. They actively drive change and work at the type of allyship marginalized groups dream of. I am grateful for this special partnership and the knowledge and opportunities it has afforded me. 

Dedicated organizations such as the Association of LGBTQ+ Corporate Directors are bringing forward much needed data on LGBTQ+ board representation and driving awareness. With active engagement and support of mainstream partners we will continue to move the needle. It was uplifting to see LGBTQ+ recognition events hosted by NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange over recent months, recognizing the community and raising public awareness.”

Let’s celebrate Pride Month by embracing diversity, advocating for inclusion, and working together to create a more equitable and just future for all. We encourage board members and executives to take this time to reflect, learn, and act in support of the LGBTQ+ community, ensuring that progress continues throughout the year.

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