— DealBook (@dealbook) December 11, 2014
The Huffington Post tweaked The New York Times‘ Dealbook conference just a bit on the issue of diversity, pointing out that women and people of color were few and far between among the special guests.
“The theme of the conference, hosted by the paper’s finance and deal reporting site, was ‘Taking Stock of the Future: Rebuilding the Economy, Growth and Trust,’” writes the site. “Despite focusing on the future, the cast on stage looked a lot like the distant past.”
But actually, the story points out later, the conference beat big business stats:
The conference did manage to improve on corporate America’s standards of inclusion. Reuters reports that women account for 4 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, and a 2012 McKinsey study found that women make up only 14 percent of executive committees on corporate boards in the Fortune 500. The Center for American Progress found that a similarly tiny fraction of Fortune 500 CEOs, 4.2 percent, was made up of people of color.
The story demonstrates the importance of being thoughtful about the events you and your clients are hosting, making sure that any panels or VIP lists really reflect the audience in attendance, the industry and the population at large.