A lack of boardroom diversity is causing a disconnect between companies and employees, according to the CEO of SurveyMonkey.
“There’s not enough diversity in management at the board of directors level,” the data platform’s CEO Zander Lurie told BNN in an interview on Tuesday. “So, if you have a bunch of white guys around the table, you lack that diversity and there’s a disconnect between [the board] and what the broader employee population feels.”
SurveyMonkey published a report in July that found that U.S. workers were split on whether significant obstacles still hindered women, racial, and ethnic minorities at work. Lurie called the data “a chilling reminder of the work we need to do” in a company blog post, but told BNN that management needs to take the lead and stay in touch with a company’s workers and customers.
“There has got to be an authentic conversation between management and employees. There has to be a diverse workforce,” Lurie told BNN. “You have to be in touch with your customers who are constantly informing you in what’s important to your business.”
Lurie’s comments come one day after two prominent Canadian chairs told BNN that boards of directors need to take revelations about sexual harassment of women seriously.
SurveyMonkey took a step to diversify its own board on Tuesday, adding former Yahoo! executive and current Berkshire Hathaway board member Sue Decker to the fold. Lurie said the move puts the company in a position for a potential IPO.
“We are putting ourselves in a position to go public,” Lurie said. “It’s not the only option. But, really you go public for several reasons that would be beneficial to SurveyMonkey long-term, and if we deliver for our customers and continue to grow our business, then I’m sure that will be an option available to us if and when we’re ready.”