Boardroom Power: Getting African Americans into the boardroom is only half the battle.

Message to black board members: “Speak out and make a difference" BlackEnterpriseLogo

John Rogers and James Bell not only represent two of America’s most powerful corporate directors but the unwavering,outspoken advocates for boardroom diversity and inclusion. Rogers, chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments L.L.C. (No. on the be asset managers list with $ billion in assets under management, serves on the boards of S&P 00 companies McDonald’s and Exelon and is co-founder of the annual Black Corporate Directors Conference, which brings together scores of African American corporate directors to grapple with such issues.

Bell, the retired EVP, Corporate President, and CFO of Boeing and corporate director on the boards of JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical, and Apple, has been vocal about the underrepresentation of African Americans within major corporations and as part of public forums. Black Enterprise recently had the opportunity to hold an in-depth discussion with these two on effective corporate governance. In their Q&A with Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle, they reviewed everything from continued imbalance in the boardroom to the need for African Americans—from seasoned corporate directors to individual investors—to take a stand and demand parity in corporate America.

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