Racial Equity Initiative

Advancing Racial Equity 

OnBoard’s commitment to advocating for Women of Color formally began in 2001, when the Annual Study first reported on Georgia board seats held by Women of Color – an initiative well ahead of its time. In the first year measured, Women of Color accounted for about 0.05% of seats in Georgia public companies. 

Today, about one in every 16 directors is a Woman of Color (by comparison, Women of Color make up roughly 20% of Georgia’s population). Though the corporate world has made great strides, profound racial inequities remain in executive and board leadership.

Board Seats Occupied by Women of Color

The results of the 2023 Annual Study indicate continued, healthy growth in closing the racial diversity gap on boards. OnBoard contributes to the advancement of Women of Color through our Racial Equity Initiative, powered by Southern Company. Through the Racial Equity Initiative:

  • One spot in each OnBoard Accelerator cohort (10% of Accelerator participation) is reserved as a fellowship for a woman leader of color, at no cost to the participant. The Accelerator gives women the tools to market themselves for service on a for-profit board. 
  • Ten Next OnBoard memberships are reserved as sponsored memberships available to early- and mid-career young Black women who, through their participation, can learn about board governance and expand their professional networks.


In addition to the opportunities available through the Racial Equity Initiative, OnBoard thoughtfully recruits leadership (including our own Board of Directors), speakers, and candidates who reflect our diverse membership base. Diversity creates value: therefore, OnBoard practices intentionality in bringing together multifaceted communities to facilitate meaningful dialogue, understanding, and progress.

To recommend a woman for the fellowships noted above, or to share your input on our advocacy efforts, please contact Naomi Green, Director of Partnerships and Programs, at naomigreen@onboardnow.org.

Thanks to our Racial Equity Initiative Sponsor

OnBoard exists to increase gender parity on corporate boards and to advocate for professional women at all stages of their careers. While the corporate world has made great strides in growing the representation of women in leadership roles, profound racial inequities remain. As it stands, only 3.4% of total board seats in Georgia are occupied by a Woman of Color leader. As such, OnBoard is committed to advocating for racial equity by developing avenues of success for BIWOC professionals both internally and externally.

After a challenging year of compounding crises that spotlighted workplace inequities and drove millions of women from the workplace, OnBoard stands ready to rebuild our female workforce. Founded in 1994 with the mission to increase the number of women on corporate boards and in leadership roles, we are positioned to lead the effort to equalize the corporate environment for professional women in Georgia and beyond.

Led by the Board of Directors, OnBoard develops programs that will further equitable representation on boards across Georgia and the nation through the following initiatives:

To recommend a woman for the fellowships noted above, please contact Lisa Robinson, OnBoard CEO, at lisa.robinson@onboardnow.org.