Happy Holidays!

Happy to note that Starbuck's, a 2020 "V" company (Very Close but not at 20%), revisited its diversity policy this month. “Diversity is integral to everything we do” the company notes on its website.

When Sheryl Sandberg announced her intention of leaving the Starbuck's board in 2012, the company appointed Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social, in her place. Shih was elected to the board on December 14, and will serve on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. We hope Shih will encourage Starbucks to add an additional woman and exceed 20%.

The appointment of women to open board seats continues to disappoint. In its Eighth Annual Status Report ION notes that 542 new independent directors were elected to corporate boards in 12 of its member regions. Of the 542, only 87 (16%) are women, and on a regional basis, between 70 and 90% of all newly elected independent directors are men. To companies that continue to hold the antiquated notion that all-male boards are in interest of their shareholders, as we approach 2012, we urge them to take a more modern approach.

If diversity is truly integral to everything Starbuck’s does, getting to 20% should be a walk in the park. The company has only to review its customer base (who buys all those Caramel Macciatos?) to realize that women add a valuable perspective to their business.

Looking ahead to 2012, the 2020 team is poised to identify the laggards who refuse to change. To our supporters, who now number over 2,000 people: Let your voices be heard. Participate in the 2020 Challenges on the 20th of every month. Congratulate the companies the get it, encourage the companies that don't. Be on the lookout for the 2020 Gender Diversity Directory, coming to our website on January 20.


From the 2020 Team, best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday!