Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Magui Rubalcava Shulman discusses the work Borealis Philanthropy is doing to support constituency-led organizations, outlining why that focus is crucial and discussing how the Scrivner Award, which she won in 2003, helps broaden philanthropy to include those areas that may at first seem risky.

I recently signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, a CEO-driven pledge to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I strongly urge other sector leaders to do the same. As part of this pledge, more than 300 CEOs, from some of the biggest corporations and organizations in the world, have committed to push for greater diversity and inclusion in their respective workplaces. By taking advantage of such a large swath of the business community, CEO Action hopes to create a lasting legacy of workforce diversity and inclusion.

The Council on Foundations has joined a growing coalition, which pledges to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ includes more than 300 CEOs of America’s leading companies and business organizations, who have jointly agreed to a pledge to cultivate a workplace and culture where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion and where practices can be shared across organizations. It is the latest effort for the Council, which for several years has pushed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a core policy and operating principle for the philanthropic sector.

The Council, in partnership with Atlas Corps and American Express, shared information on the Atlas Corps Fellows Program. Atlas Corps facilitates overseas fellowships for the best of the world's rising leaders. They volunteer for 12-18 months at outstanding organizations (foundations, corporations and nonprofits) addressing social issues and are enrolled in an ongoing training program.

In 2016, women represented over three-quarters of foundation staff in the US but among the largest grantmakers,fewer than half of foundation CEOs were women. In the same year, racial and ethnic minorities made up only 10 per cent of foundation CEOs. Given these statistics alongside current political and social discourse on race and inequality in the US, American philanthropy is increasingly focusing on the themes of diversity, equity and inclusion – known in a sector addicted to abbreviations as ‘DEI’.