In the summer of 2020, Merline Saintil, a former tech COO, and Robin Washington, a former CFO, were some of the few Black women on corporate boards. Frustrated by the lack of diversity, the two embarked on a journey to create an organization that would expand the opportunity and exposure of Black women who can impact boards of directors across America. Thus began the Black Women on Boards organization. Today, it boasts more than 200 members.
Director Deborah Riley Draper traces the origins of the path to diversity in corporate America’s most powerful positions, from Patricia Roberts Harris, the first Black woman to sit on a board in 1971, to various compelling stories of modern Black women now a part of BWOB. This inspiring documentary displays the power of a grassroots campaign to change the rigid landscape of Corporate America and provide opportunities for future generations of young women of color.
Discussion with executive producer Shannon Nash, Dean Nicole Thorne Jenkins (UVA) and Irma Shrivastava (R2 Strategic Solutions). Moderated by Amanda P. Cowen (UVA).
Saturday, October 28
Violet Crown 5
Director: Deborah Riley Draper
Runtime: 40 min.
Shannon Nash is a documentary producer, esteemed financial expert, CPA, and attorney. Her previous film Colored My Mind won Best Short at the 2013 American Pavilion in Cannes. Nash holds a JD from UVA Law and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, for which she serves on the Board of Advisors.
Irma is a business executive who founded R2 Strategic Solutions, a consultancy that advises CEOs, CMOS and Board. She is an active member of OnBoard and Extraordinary Women on Boards and ASCEND Pinnacle. She holds a B.S. from the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business.
Nicole Thorne Jenkins is the John A. Griffin Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
Amanda Cowen is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs and the Cohen Bicentennial Professor of Commerce at the University of Virginia.