Tennis star sees move as part of her diversity quest
By Bilin Lin
In her quest to promote women in leadership in business world, Tennis star Serena Williams joined the board of SurveyMonkey.
SurveyMonkey, one of the leading online survey companies in the world, announced Williams appointment Wednesday with the firm’s CEO Zander Lurie saying, “Serena is an activist, marketer, brand builder, and greatest athlete of our time. Serena’s voice on the board sends a strong message to our company, investors, and the industry.”
(Related article: Latest Push for Board Gender Equity.)
Williams has been vocal about her desire to promote diversity.
In a recent interview, she said: “I feel like diversity is something I speak to. Change is always happening; change is always building. What is important to me is to be at the forefront of the change and to make it easier for the next person that comes behind me.”
Indeed, getting more diversity on boards has been a challenge. Only 19.9% of board positions are held by women among S&P 500 companies, according to Catalyst research.
And getting more women and minorities in the technology industry has also been a problem. Even at SurveyMonkey, only 27% of the company’s tech employees are women, and 14% are Black and Latino.
“My focus,” said Lurie, “is to bring in change agents around the table who can open our eyes.”