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Women on Corporate Boards with Esther Aguilera and Beverly Carmichael

With many women still not returning to work after Covid-19 lockdowns and many of them still reporting high numbers of burnout, it can be difficult to find reasons to be optimistic about the state of women in business. But here’s one highlight: A recent report from the Women Business Collaborative (WBC) and 50-50 Women on Boards found that 2021 was a “watershed year” for women on corporate boards, with the largest ever year-over-year increase in board seats held by women among companies in the Russell 3000, an index of the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in America. According to the report, which was released earlier this month, women held 27 percent of board seats at companies on the Russell 3,000 in 2021, up from 24 percent in 2020. Another sign of progress, according to the report: Black board membership increased 32 percent.

In this session we talk to Esther Aguilera, President and CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association and VEST Member Beverly Carmichael, Former C-Suite Executive and Board Director at multiple companies including Blue Apron and Viad Corp, about the gaps we still have to overcome, and how we can position ourselves to serve on Corporate Boards so that together we can further advance Diversity in the Board Room.

Available on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcast.

Full Transcribe Below

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About Esther Aguilera

Esther Aguilera is the President and CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA). She is recognized as a social entrepreneur and turnaround specialist, leading scale-up, innovative change, and managing high-performance teams. In her last role, Esther led the growth of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) for 11 years as its President & CEO, where she spearheaded programs that transformed the life trajectory of hundreds of young Latinos across the country.

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About Beverly Carmichael

Beverly Carmichael served as Executive Vice President and Chief People, Culture, and Resource Officer at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. Prior to that, from 2014 to 2017, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Earlier in her career, she was Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Ticketmaster, and held positions at Southwest Airlines as the top human resources executive and the top labor attorney.

Beverly was appointed to the Board of Blue Apron in March 2022 and serves as a member of the Board’s Compensation Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Beverly also serves on the Board of Directors of Cotton Patch Cafe, Inc., a Texas-based restaurant chain, and the Board of Directors of Viad Corp, a global experiential services company. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Leaf Group, a content company that operates various online brands, from 2018 to 2021, until its acquisition by Graham Holdings Company.

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