Ventures Inc., became a director of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in 1990. When the holding company was formed in 1997, Williams also became a director of PG&E Corp., and he serves as chairman of the PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. audit committees.
Fellow African American David Andrews joined the boards of directors of PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in 2000. Andrews is a retired senior vice president of government affairs, general counsel, and secretary of PepsiCo Inc. Previously, he served as the legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Andrews is a member of the PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. audit committees and the PG&E Corp. public policy committee.
“Certainly, there are more African Americans on corporate boards today than there were 15 years ago,” says Dennis Dowdell, executive director of the Executive Leadership Council. Dowdell says that out of the 5,572 corporate board seats at the 500 largest publicly traded companies, 449 seats are held by African Americans. “The highest number of African Americans on any one board is five right now,” says Dowdell, referring to the ELC’s recent study on board representation.
In addition to Williams and Andrews, Robert Glynn Jr., chairman of the boards of PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co., is also an ethnic minority. Glynn is Hispanic and has been chairman of both company’s boards since 1998.
“We don’t use quotas. We just go after the most qualified candidates, and minorities are just as qualified as nonminorities,” says Jackson, the highest ranking African American at PG&E.
“We really value different perspectives. It keeps us in touch with many different constituents, and it enriches our company’s decisions.” —Sakina P. Spruell
- SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
- SR. MANAGEMENT
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS
IBM Location: Armonk, NY Type of Business: Technology Diversity Contact: J. T. “Ted” Childs, VP, Global Workforce Diversity
Big Blue scores favorably in senior management, board representation, and workforce and supplier diversity. But it is IBM’s corporate citizenship and outreach that stands head and shoulders above other corporate giants.
Education is IBM’s No. 1 social commitment. Its flagship program is a $75 million education initiative encompassing 25 school districts. “We are very good at the community piece,” says Childs, “particularly on improving the quality and delivery of education in inner-city school systems of America through the use of technology.”
Bridging the digital divide remains a priority at the world’s largest developer and manufacturer of computer hardware and software. As part of a 10-year commitment that began in 2000, IBM is the lead corporate sponsor of National Black Family Technology Awareness Week. The company has since supported National La Familia Technology Awareness Week and Native American Family Technology Journey. The primary goal is to draw attention to the digital divide and the negative impact it has on education and on employability, says co-chair Rodney Adkins, who serves as vice president of development of IBM systems and technology group. Studies suggest that more than 50% of jobs in 21st century America will