Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, the author of Lean In, has been outspoken about tech’s miserable diversity numbers.
In August, she told USA Today: “I also want to be clear that we are not on the path to get there. In tech, if women are 18% of the graduates, we are not getting to 50% of the jobs. We have got to change that.”
In the past year, some companies have released diversity reports outlining their employee statistics, while others have instituted quotas to make sure women are included.
Sandberg enlisted the help of legendary venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who used his venture capital firm’s resources to create a two-day boot camp for qualified female and minority board candidates, Bloomberg reports.
Boot camp consists of courses led by Stanford professors and discussions with current board members. The inaugural group of 40 participants completed the boot camp this month.
Getting onto a startup or company’s board of directors paradoxically means you have to have prior experience being on a board of directors. This alienates a number of people who may be qualified to sit on a company’s board, but have never been given the opportunity.
“The goal is to arm the participants — all women and minorities who have yet to serve on boards other than their own companies’ — with the knowledge to take seats on corporate and start-up boards,” Bloomberg reports. “Andreessen Horowitz plans to publish the names of all the participants in the pilot program on its website and hopes to offer the course annually. The idea is that companies will use the list as a resource, and that some of the inaugural class will find seats on public and private boards.”
Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.
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