The CEO of Delta Airlines, Ed Bastian says he going to appoint more Black board members over the next couple of years.
What We Know
- Delta CEO Ed Bastian says he is “ashamed” that he has not fostered diversity within the airline’s executive leadership roles and will look at adding more Black members to its board of directors. Demonstrations protesting police brutality and racial injustices in recent weeks have made corporate America face question about the lack of diversity in the work place.
- Delta has added two board members in the past year, both of whom are white men. Bastian stated “We will be recruiting more Black members undoubtedly over the next couple of years.”
- While Delta’s broader senior leadership pipeline includes Black employees, its top executive team does not. There is not a single Black man or women serving in Delta’s top 11 executive roles and Bastian acknowledges that needs to change.
- Black and Brown employees, which represent almost half of the Atlanta-based company’s workforce, are “lagging within the diversity improvements that we’ve seen in the company,” Bastian said.
- A Delta spokesperson said in a follow up email that, of Delta’s top 100 officers, “25% identify as women and 18% identify as people of color.” Of that 18%, about 8% of Delta officers are Black, the spokesperson said.
- Bastian, who has been at the helm of Delta since May 2016, pledged to “pay extraordinary attention to racial diversity going forward,” he said.
Only four companies in the Fortune 500 have Black CEOs, and only 18 Black executives have led Fortune 500 companies in the past two decades, according to Fortune. And a December 2019 report found that only 3.2% of executive or senior leadership roles in the United States were held by Black people.