Rev. DeForest B. Soaries to Host Webinar on How to Earn Pay As A Corporate Board Member - Black Enterprise

Rev. DeForest B. Soaries to Host Webinar on How to Earn Pay As A Corporate Board Member

become a board member
Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries (file)

As U.S. companies are facing growing pressure to diversify their boards, an upcoming webinar will offer insights on how Black Americans can become corporate board members and earn pay for it.

The virtual event, How to Become Corporate Board Ready, will take place at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Organizers say discussions will be led by DeForest B. Soaries Jr., a Baptist minister, author, and public advocate. He will talk about bringing diversity to the boardroom, his experience of joining seven boards, and what it takes to be a corporate director. 

The session is a preview of the course How to Become a Paid Corporate Director. Black executive leaders will learn how to become paid corporate directors. Its program will provide step-by-step instructions on how to make it happen. Further at the director training, past students of Soaries will discuss their experience from taking the course and how they have benefitted and joined corporate boards. Over 600 people have registered for the free Zoom meeting.

The webinar aims to bring awareness to the lack of boardroom diversity and help Americans navigate through the process of attaining corporate board seats. It will help attendees understand the following:

  • Due to the new regulations, many organizations are looking to diversify their corporate boards. For instance, California just passed a law requiring publicly traded corporations based in the state to have corporate board members from underrepresented communities. The session will include an open discussion on how to bring diversity to the boardroom and share steps on how participants can get started on your journey to begin a paid corporate director.
  • How many people believe they can’t become directors or that there isn’t a corporate board for them. Soaries will discuss the mindset around getting started as a corporate board member via an open discussion on what it means to be a corporate director.
  • People will gain knowledge of what it takes to be a better leader.

The event’s timing is fitting as the racial mix of corporate boards is now getting greater attention sparked by the killing of George Floyd and subsequent national Black Lives Matter protests.

A new survey shows little has been done to boost the number of Black, Hispanic, Asian-American, and other underrepresented members on boards although corporate America has promised to change those figures. The boards of the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies remain mostly white, a New York Times report shows. Take Black directors for instance. They account for only 4% of the total, up from 3% in 2015. Black women make up just 1.5% of over 20,000 directors included in the analysis, which extends beyond other surveys that included only the 500 largest public companies. The findings were released in mid-September by the Institutional Shareholder Services’ ESG division.

BLACK ENTERPRISE has examined and reported on boardroom corporate governance extensively.

Register at to get a link to the session.