Originally Appeared in Presence Marketing News, October 2019
By Steven Hoffman
According to natural products entrepreneur and investor Brad Barnhorn, of the nine different boards of directors on which he serves, there are a total of 50 board members and only one of them is a woman. He shared this as the only male panelist on the Women on Boards panel at Natural Products Expo East this past September in Baltimore. “Having more women sit on boards of organic and natural companies is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do, writes Max Goldberg in the Organic Insider. Based on a study conducted by financial research firm MSCI, U.S. companies with at least three women on the board experienced earnings growth of 37% over a five-year period, while companies that had no female board members experienced a -8% earnings drop in the same period, Goldberg reported. To address the issue, Northern California-based natural products leadership organization OSC2 has formed JEDI, the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative. Co-founded by OSC2 Executive Director Lara Dickinson and Sheryl O’Loughlin, former CEO of natural beverage maker REBBL, JEDI released a 5-minute survey to collect benchmark data on the current diversity makeup of the natural and organic products industry. The goal, reports the Organic Insider, is to have 500 companies complete the survey by January 2020. JEDI hopes to report findings at Natural Products Expo West 2020, as well as establish and track goals.