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Statement from the Chicago Urban League in Support of Illinois HB3394

Proposed Legislation Would Increase Diversity on Corporate Boards

The Chicago Urban League’s Interim President and CEO Barbara A. Lumpkin issued the following statement in support of Illinois HB3394, sponsored by 7th District Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch:

“On Tuesday, April 23, I stood with Rep. Chris Welch, leaders from the Business Leadership Council, the YWCA, the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce and others in support of legislation to increase female, African American and Latinx board diversity in publicly traded businesses that have incorporated in Illinois.

The Chicago Urban League has long pursued a mission of advancing progress for African Americans, and this proposed legislation aligns with that mission. While we have witnessed some progress in diverse representation on corporate boards over the past decade, we have also tolerated for too long the silent roster of qualified female, African American and Latinx board candidates who are routinely passed over for board opportunities.

Corporations and businesses of all kinds routinely express a commitment to diversity and inclusion, but that commitment is rarely reflected in board representation. While mandates and quotas may be viewed by some as blunt tools, they seem to be what is needed to effectively provide access to board opportunities for women, African Americans and Latinx candidates.”