Facebook’s board became one of the most equitable among S&P 500 companies this week after appointing two new female directors. The addition of Tracey Travis and Nancy Killefer brings the Facebook Inc. board to 40 percent female.
Travis is the chief financial officer of Estée Lauder Cos. and Killefer is a previous executive at McKinsey & Co. and has also worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service.
This gender equality milestone comes at a time when Facebook is under intense scrutiny for privacy and advertising concerns. Although Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg still holds the majority of the voting power, the addition of women to the board will hopefully improve equality and representation in the social media platform and the company as a whole.
Fewer than 10 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have reached this level of gender representation. Additionally, the appointment of Travis means the Facebook board is now 30 percent black. Women now make up more than a quarter of all directors in S&P 500 companies. In July, the last all-male board in the S&P 500 appointed a woman.
Whether as a force for good or bad, Facebook is undeniably a highly influential social media giant. The addition of more diversity to the company’s board will hopefully bring more inclusion and equality to the company’s culture and empower more women in business to reach executive heights. Facebook’s status as one of the world’s most prominent tech companies also sends a message to the industry about the value of including diverse business leadership.