How Macy’s Quietly Created One of America’s Most Diverse Boards

During Terry Lundgren's tenure at Macy's four female directors have been appointed to his board. (Courtesy of Macy's)
During Terry Lundgren's tenure at Macy's four female directors have been appointed to his board. (Courtesy of Macy's)
During Terry Lundgren’s tenure at Macy’s four female directors have been appointed to his board. (Courtesy of Macy’s)

 

(Fortune) – Macy’s CEO and Chairman Terry Lundgren likes to fill his board with members who have diverse perspectives. As the head of a major U.S. retailer, he’s adamant that the board reflects his customer base so he can stay attuned to trends in how different people shop.

What Lundgren looks for in board members hardly sounds radical, but the results have been: Half of Macy’s 12 board directors are women. Last month, when he appointed Leslie Hale from RLJ Lodging Trust to the board, Macy’s reached this milestone. Less than 1% of companies in the Fortune 500 have achieved or surpassed gender parity on their boards, according to a recent Fortuneanalysis in collaboration with S&P Capital IQ.

Reaching the 50% mark brings Macy’s into a elite group that includes three other companies as of Fortune’s January analysis: AvonXerox and TravelCenters of America  (which only has four board members in total). These companies have each demonstrated a serious commitment to changing the male-heavy gender dynamics on corporate boards.

It’s worth noting that Macy’s board diversity extends beyond gender as well — two members are African-American, one is Asian-American and another is Hispanic.

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