Modern Governance 12.0: Diligent Director Network Creates the Largest and Most Diverse Community of Board-Ready Executives

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Diligent Corporation, a leading modern governance company used by nearly 700,000 board directors and leaders, today introduced “Modern Leadership” an initiative to provide senior leaders with the resources, insights, partnerships, and technology they need to further catalyze diversity in their organizations and modernize governance.

“We look forward to working together to increase the number of Black directors and executives at leading organizations.”

Diligent also announced today, Diligent Director Network – the largest and most diverse community of board-ready executives globally created to widen the pool of diverse candidates for a vacant board seat. With the Director Network, Diligent is:

  • Activating Diligent’s network of nearly 700,000 board directors and leaders across 16,000 organizations to nominate diverse, board-ready executives to build a database of largely untapped talent that will be searchable free of charge within the Diligent application.
  • Teaming up with leading private equity firms to post more than 50 board roles for increased visibility and transparency for diverse director candidates. The 10+ private equity firms that have each committed to posting five open board roles include Insight Partners, Clearlake Capital, Vista Equity Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Hg, Genstar Capital, TA Associates, K1 Investment Management, Aurora Capital Partners, and Grain Management.
  • Partnering with Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search and leadership advisory firm, to post board searches in the Diligent application creating more transparency for diverse candidates to apply for those roles. Spencer Stuart has long recognized the value of board diversity – last year, minority executives and women comprised more than 60% of their placements in the U.S.
  • Partnering with organizations that have a track record and mission for diversifying board rooms and executive suites – including The Executive Leadership Council, Ascend, Latino Corporate Directors Association, and National Association of Corporate Directors – to promote and create opportunities for their members.
  • Opening an offer to Diligent’s clients to post open board and executive roles within Director Network for visibility and transparency for diverse rising directors.

“Diligent is committed to being a catalyst for greater diversity and inclusion, starting with the highest levels of leadership – and we are using our network of nearly 700,000 board directors and leaders to help drive that change,” said Brian Stafford, CEO of Diligent. “By increasing the number and visibility of diverse board members, truly changing composition from the top, we believe organizations will be able to better serve stakeholders and create long-lasting, positive change in the world. We hope other companies will join us to create more board and C-Suite opportunities for diverse talent.”

“There is no doubt that successful and visionary corporate leadership today requires diverse viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences that create a richer fabric for guidance and decision making, and ‘Modern Leadership’ is meant to help organizations create their best futures,” continued Mr. Stafford.

The first job posting in the Director Network is from Diligent itself as the Diligent board of directors seeks to add an additional independent director, ideally with a racially diverse background.

There has never been a more pressing time for change and diversity in the U.S. and across the globe – and a more critical moment to identify and address a lack of diversity within the highest levels of leadership. Today, there are only four Black CEOs across Fortune 500 companies, representing less than 1% of the makeup. Additionally, 83.9% of all directors of Fortune 500 companies are Caucasian/White according to Deloitte. “Modern Leadership” intends to improve those numbers as Diligent and other companies actively measure and report on diversity as a part of their ESG strategy.

“Modern Leadership” will also include convenings of existing, rising, and next generation leadership to discuss actions to drive change in the boardroom and at the executive level.

Creating transparency around available board roles via partnerships with private equity

“In order to address social and economic justice, we need scalable solutions that speak to both Main Street and the boardroom,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista. 30PC LogoMobileMember“We’re proud of the work Vista Equity Partners’ portfolio companies are doing to address access, equality, and building the talent pipeline, and we’re thrilled to also join Diligent's smart and scalable initiative to increase board diversity. This is the right way to empower corporations to make strides towards equality of opportunity. Vista proudly joins Diligent and its partners in taking this critical step along the path toward a more just and equitable future."

“Diligent’s ‘Modern Leadership’ initiative aligns closely with the long-held principle at Clearlake that diversity drives differentiated outcomes,” said José E. Feliciano, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Clearlake Capital. “It’s evident that the Diligent team, in tandem with the company’s industry partners, are committed to increasing diversity in leadership roles for the long-term. We are proud to partner alongside Diligent in what we hope will become a long list of our peers, as we collectively advocate and take the necessary steps to ensure a major change at the board level.”

“Insight firmly believes that diversity is a fundamental asset of high-performing boards,” said Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight Partners, who led the 2016 take-private of Diligent. “We’re committed to driving change within the software ecosystem and invested in Diligent because we believe its platform has potential to transform leadership. Diligent’s Director Network will enhance our board recruitment and executive search process in pursuit of better outcomes for our portfolio companies and our community. We are proud to not only participate in this initiative, but to help bring our fellow private equity peers to the boardroom table as well.”

"Grain Management was built on the principle that access is critical. The digital economy has the power to lift people up, bring people together, and level the playing field – but only if we harness technology to scale positive change. I admire how quickly the Diligent team built this new tool, to connect the supply of outstanding leaders and the demand among companies to diversify their boards,” commented David Grain, Founder and CEO of Grain Management. “I look forward to supporting this platform and benefiting from the diversity of thought, background and opinion that it helps inspire in the boards of our portfolio companies, and in companies all across the world."

Expanding the pool of diverse, board-ready candidates through partnerships with organizations whose mission is diversifying board rooms

“The Executive Leadership Council is committed to advancing the role and contributions of Black executives. This partnership with Diligent will provide our members even more visibility during the board and executive search process,” said Crystal E. Ashby, Interim President and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council. “We look forward to working together to increase the number of Black directors and executives at leading organizations.”

“There is an urgent need for more diverse board members and executives at companies around the world but change of this magnitude cannot be done alone,” said Esther Aguilera, President & CEO, Latino Corporate Directors Association.30PC LogoMobileMember
“We are excited to partner with Diligent to bring even more scale and speed to a systemic issue that is incredibly important to us and our members.”

“The Pan-Asian community is the fastest-growing population in the U.S., but approximately 70% of Fortune 1000 companies do not have the benefit of an Asian perspective in the boardroom,” stated Janet Wong, Ascend Pinnacle 30PC LogoMobileMember, Lead Executive Advisor. "Ascend is pleased to partner with Diligent to help companies tap into the broad network of talented Pan-Asian directors and executives to help ensure corporate leadership reflects their important perspectives.”

...we find that banks with more gender diversity on their board perform better once the composition of these boards reaches a critical level of gender diversity, corresponding to a board female share of around 13-17 percent.

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