KPMG will be a Founding Sponsor of Out Leadership’s initiative Quorum, which seeks to place openly LGBT directors on corporate boards, for 2016 and 2017, the companies announced today.
“At KPMG, we know that integrating different perspectives into the highest levels of a company’s governance has the potential to create substantial business impact,” said Suzanne Townsen, KPMG’s National Managing Partner, HR, Diversity and Corporate Responsibility. “Board diversity generally, and LGBT inclusion on corporate boards, is an increasingly important part of the global conversation around how companies run best. Forward-thinking organizations are not only engaged in this conversation but driving change and we’re proud to join Out Leadership in this initiative.”
“We estimate that there are currently fewer than 10 openly LGBT directors of Fortune 500 companies – less than 0.3%,” said Out Leadership Founder and Principal Todd Sears. “Only two companies in the Fortune 500 reference sexual orientation or gender identity in their board diversity statements. But board diversity enhances corporate performance, mitigates risk, and helps create market opportunities. Quorum seeks to connect qualified LGBT board candidates with companies who will benefit from their skills and perspective.”
Quorum launched in 2015 with initial seed funding from the David Bohnett Foundation and Arcus Foundation, and dedicated its first year to building a qualified list of senior LGBT executives and potential director candidates. In 2015, Quorum held events in New York (hosted by U.S. Trust) and San Francisco (hosted by Twitter) to engage senior business leaders, raise awareness of the under-representation of LGBT people on corporate boards, and connect with potential board candidates.
“We are thrilled to support Out Leadership on Quorum,” said James Powell, Office Managing Partner of KPMG in Nashville, Co-Chair of pride@kpmg and member of Quorum Leadership Committee. “KPMG recognizes board diversity as a business imperative, which is why we’ve invested in our Board Leadership Center (BLC), which provides directors insights and perspectives, programs, and peer exchange opportunities to help them carry out their oversight responsibilities and guide their companies forward. Through our relationship with Quorum, we are confident that we will be able to cultivate exceptional candidates and help them prepare for board search processes and service.”