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LJD Week 2021 | Racial Diversity in the Boardroom

November 10, 2021

Virtual | Live Broadcast & Recorded



A session co-organized with the International Finance Corporation

IFC nominates directors to serve on the boards of client companies in which IFC invests equity to add value to such client companies’ operations and create shareholder value consistent with IFC’s development mandate.

IFC’s ambition is to ensue nominee director gender parity. Pro-active and more diverse sourcing of qualified candidates over the last couple of years has enabled IFC to meet our target of nominating women and men in equal proportion to the board of client companies. As of the end of June 2021, 54% of IFC nominated directors were women.

Building on IFC’s success on improve gender diversity on our investee companies’ boards by nominating diverse candidates, this session will discuss practical lessons to expand diversity beyond gender diversity. 

With our panel of seasoned practitioners, we propose to discuss in this 60-minute session racial diversity in the boardroom with a focus on: 

  • Exploring the business case for racial diversity in the boardroom: Beyond equity, what is the business case for racial diversity? How does it compare with gender diversity? 
  • Enhancing racial board diversity: How to make it happen through policies and practical approaches while avoiding tokenism? What are the biaiss and challenges to overcome across regions?
  • Performing as a diverse board: What are the challenges as a diverse board? What are the challenges for diverse board to perform well? How best to leverage the value of diversity? How to make one's voice heard as the odd one out?
  • Setting the tone at the top: Beyond board composition and dynamics, what is the role of the board in driving corporate values and culture on racial diversity? 
  • Speakers


    Bola Tinubu

    Partner, Olajide Oyewole LLP (DLA Piper) and Board Chair, TheBoardroom Africa

    Bola Tinubu is a partner in the law firm of Olajide Oyewole LLP (A member of DLA Piper Africa) and leads its Corporate Practice. She has 28 years of experience of being in boardrooms and advising businesses throughout their life cycles. Bola is an experienced Non-Executive Director and Tri-Sector Chair, leading boards across private, public, and development sectors, including The Boardroom Africa - the largest regional network of female executives in Africa, focused on accelerating the promotion of female talent to the boardroom. She is a Chartered Director, a Harvard Certified Corporate Director, a Chartered Governance Professional and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors UK and The Governance Institute UK. Bola Tinubu was named by the BBC in its 2018 list of 100 inspiring and influential women around the world for her pioneering work with children who have been sexually abused in Nigeria.


    Aida Kimemia

    IFC Nominated Non-Executive Corporate Board Director

    Aida Kimemia is co-owner of Tiserin Capital, a financial and advisory firm which supports small and medium-sized businesses in Kenya.  She is an independent non-executive director on the board of 4 companies, including the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (Kenya), which she chairs.  A Kenyan national and based in Nairobi, she has over 25 years’ experience in finance and impact investing in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.  Prior to her present roles, Aida Kimemia had a long career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), culminating in her role as Africa Regional Manager for Manufacturing and Services, where she managed a significant and diverse regional investment portfolio.  She also served as IFC’s East Africa Regional Head, where she had oversight of IFC’s investment and advisory activities in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Aida holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Mathematics from St Lawrence University (New York) and a Master’s Degree in Financial Management from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore).


    Iris Fang

    IFC Nominated Non-Executive Corporate Board Director

    Iris Fang is an accomplished corporate banker with over 40 year of experience working for international financial institutions in the United States and Asia. She held various senior executive positions at Standard Chartered Bank Singapore and served as the former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam. She is a former Member of the Board of Directors of Vietnam Holding Asset Management and currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of ABBank and Yoma Bank.


    Susan Keating

    Chief Executive Officer, Women Corporate Directors Foundation

    Susan Keating is chief executive officer of the Women Corporate Directors Foundation (WCD), a 501(c)(3) foundation that has served as a bold catalyst for boardroom diversity for more than 20 years and is the largest membership organization and community of women corporate directors in the world. Prior to joining WCD, Susan Keating was president and chief executive officer of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the largest and longest-serving nonprofit credit counseling organization in the United States. Under her leadership NFCC members improved the financial well-being of 26 million people with the support of $88 million in funding for housing programs and $36 million for other programs promoting financial wellness and stability. Susan Keating spent 29 years in financial services before moving into the nonprofit sector, serving as president and chief executive of Allfirst Financial, Inc., the 43rd largest U.S. bank, and the largest U.S. holding of Allied Irish Banks plc (AIB Group). Her additional experience includes managerial and leadership roles with NationsBank, MNC Financial and First Bank System.


    Marie-Laurence Guy (moderator)

    Senior Program Manager, International Finance Corporation

    Marie-Laurence Guy currently leads IFC’s Nominee Director Support Center which harnesses expertise across IFC to pro-actively, strategically, and systematically support IFC nominees directors and investment teams in adding value to client companies’ operations and creating shareholder value consistent with IFC’s development mandate and core values. She has extensive expertise in corporate governance, leadership development, human resources, program management and business administration. Prior to joining IFC, she worked in the French Ministry of Economy and for the OECD. She has authored a number of publications including on Building Director Training Organizations, Developing Corporate Governance Codes of Best Practice, and Resolving Corporate Governance Disputes. She has led work related to women on corporate boards and interviewed directors from around the world on the presence and absence of women in the boardroom. She is a certified mediator and accredited IFC trust fund manager. She served on the board of Performance Humaine a French consultancy firm from 2001-2005.


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