Amazon’s 10-person board now has four women and six men after the appointment of a prominent black female executive, Starbucks CEO, Rosalind Brewer.
Brewer is the second black woman elected to become a board director at Amazon and may hold the keys to help Amazon crush traditional retail. She knows the ins and outs of traditional retail as the former CEO of Walmart-owned Sam’s Club.
Amazon’s board did apply the “Rooney Rule” last year, which requires that the initial list of candidates should include qualified women and minorities. Amazon had been interested in working with Brewer for some time as the current board member participated in Amazon’s leadership development and compensation committee, prior to her election to replace John Seely Brown on the board.
Brewers’ board appointment is an inspiration for all diverse professionals who aspire to reach the board director level. Minority women hold below five percent of board seats on Fortune 500 companies based on Deloitte’s 2018 Board Diversity Census.
Research by Catalyst shows that in 2018, only one-third of companies in the S&P 500 had at least three women on their boards. Research from McKinsey and MSCI shows that companies with diverse board members are more likely to have strong financial performances and fewer cases of poor corporate governance.