Helping our portfolio companies achieve greater diversity on the Boards of Directors is one of the most impactful ways we can help ensure their success, while fulfilling our mission. For this reason, Gaingels has established a comprehensive program to assist our portfolio companies with the selection, vetting, interview and recruitment of independent board members from a variety of underrepresented minorities and backgrounds, at no additional cost to our portfolio companies, and in complement to their independent recruitment processes. This program has two independent and complementary objectives: increase the chance that the private sector select and form boards of directors that better reflect their diversity and inclusion objectives, and maximize the opportunity for a variety of highly qualified candidate to be evaluated and considered for impactful leadership positions within high growth startups.

The Importance of Board Diversity

Boards still do not represent the companies or communities they serve. Women represent just 26% of all board seats of S&P 500 companies. And virtually no data exists about women, Black Latinx, Asian and LGBT+ representation at the board level in early stage and pre-IPO companies. Yet, growing evidence points to companies with greater diversity achieving greater investor confidence and higher valuations. 2018 McKinsey report “Delivering through Diversity”, indicated that companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were 43 percent more likely to see above-average profitability.

The Gaingels Board Diversity Program Driving Change through business

In the last year Gaingels has assisted more than a dozen portfolio companies in defining business and diversity goals for their boards and finding qualified Board and Adviser candidates, through the Corporate Board Diversity Program. The program works with 12 organizations (and growing!) that maintain large databases of board ready Women, LGBTQ+, Black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander candidates in a broad range of industries. The Board Diversity Program is a free service to the portfolio companies of Gaingels.

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Highlights

Since April 2021 Gaingels has:

Helped 50 companies define their diversity and board needs

Placed 7 board members across 6 companies

Has introduced 376 diverse candidates to 16 companies