Kosi Stobbs on Diversifying Your Executive Board Positions
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As a first-generation Canadian, Kosi Stobbs is passionate about diversifying executive board positions, and knows that various voices on a board of directors in any industry is essential to the growth, development, and profitability of a business looking to scale up.
As a first-generation Canadian, Kosi Stobbs is passionate about diversifying executive board positions, and knows that various voices on any board of directors is essential to growth. By the age of ten, he recognized his perspective of work ethic was unlike his peers, and to this day, that mindset has strengthened his leadership in all facets of business. Due to his humble background with immigrant parents from Jamaica, Stobbs understands the value that contrasting experiences have on the growth of a company. His goal is to now make sure executive board seats in all industries reflect the experiences of all races, identities, and orientations.
In a recent report by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, it’s noted that corporate board members who are Black are wildly underrepresented in Canada. For example, the city of Toronto has a Black population percentage of 7.5% while the amount of Black corporate board members is 0.3%. (Cukier, 2020) The United States is no different when it comes to board members and positions of leadership — of the 279 top executives at the 50 largest companies in the S&P 100, 5 are Black, and 2 of those recently retired. (Guynn & Schrontenboer, 2020) Stobbs knows the importance that diversity has on executive board seats, and is committed to changing those distressing statistics — so he started with his own professional journey to do so.
Growing up with hard working immigrant parents, Stobbs knew his experience would be different than most — but rather than seeing that as a setback, he viewed it as a catalyst — a catalyst that would eventually define his continuous success in business. Those different experiences he had as a kid, and even into his adulthood, allowed him to see things from another perspective. He feels strongly that people similar to him — those with diverse backgrounds and ideas — are necessary for any board position in any industry. “Every company with a board of directors needs to diversify,” Stobbs says. “Whether that’s African American board members or female board members — the ability of the board of directors to make transformative and profitable action is only as good as the collaboration, communication, and insights of the board members themselves.”
Stobbs notes that when a board of directors is made up of people with diverse backgrounds and identities, the ability to push that company further grows exponentially. “If each board member has a similar experience in life, then the ability to think outside the box and reach new limits is impossible,” he says. “Diversity breeds revolutionary success. Because the more you diversify your executive board members, and the more experiences and ideas you have in the boardroom together, the more limitless you become.” Simply put — a board of directors must diversify to reach new heights.
Stobbs is now the Founder and Director of Property Owl Group and is in the business of buying companies to scale them for optimal growth and efficiency, so he knows what he’s doing. After being named both Vancouver and Canada’s Top 40 under 40 list in 2020, his tenacious attitude for diversification has only grown. He’s looking at current boardrooms with open executive board positions to broaden their approach and consider people of all backgrounds — because their business depends on it.
While diversifying a board of directors is crucial, Stobbs is also driven by the inclusion of that diversity. As an Black Canadian and CEO of multiple 7 and 8 figure businesses, he’s seen how critical inclusion is to a company’s development and improvement. The perspectives, characteristics, and even biases of any person sitting in an executive board seat, along with how other board members are responding to them, is really what’s navigating a company’s path to potential success. Stobbs knows that diversity without inclusion will only create a roadblock, and the path to profitability will become almost impossible.
For more information on Kosi Stobbs and his efforts on diversifying executive board positions, you can reach out to him directly.
Cukier, Wendy. “Diverse Representation in Leadership: A Review of Eight Canadian Cities.” 2020. PDF file.
Guynn, J. & Schrontenboer, B. (2020, August 20). Why are there still so few Black executives in America? USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/money/business/2020/08/20/racism-black-america-corporate-america-facebook-apple-netflix-nike-diversity/5557003002/
Release ID: 88999536
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