Renowned diversity and inclusion (D&I) expert Barbara Whye has been appointed to the board of financial and accounting cloud software company BlackLine.
Whye, who is currently vice president of inclusion and diversity at Apple, will draw on her experience of more than 25 years in the technology industry to help BlackLine improve and expand its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs.
She has been the recipient of several industry awards, including a 2019 Black Enterprise ‘Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity’ award and a 2019 ‘Most Influential Women in Corporate America’ award. The diversity leader was also named in Fortune’s 2020 list of the ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’.
Speaking about her appointment Whye said: “I am honored by the opportunity to join the BlackLine board and excited to contribute to the continued growth of this extraordinary company that has emerged as the leader in modern accounting.”
She added: “I find BlackLine truly committed to driving excellence and its leadership’s unwavering focus on innovation, collaboration, inclusion, and customer success is unmatched.”
Whye began her career as an electrical engineer after gaining a bachelor of science degree from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from the University’s Darla Moore School of Business. She went on to hold numerous high-profile positions. These included leadership and project engineering roles with BellSouth and NCR.
Prior to joining Apple she was chief diversity and inclusion officer at Intel where she led a $300 million ‘Diversity in Technology’ initiative. This resulted in the company reaching full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in its U.S. workforce two years ahead of schedule.
She was also responsible for Intel’s investments in programs that deliver positive global impact, including corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education portfolios with an emphasis on girls and underserved populations.
BlackLine CEO and board member Marc Huffman said: “Diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply rooted in our core values in service of our global workforce, our customers, and the communities in which we work and live. We look forward to Barbara’s guidance as we advance a culture of inclusion that empowers employees to think, create and serve in a workplace where everyone truly feels they belong.”
Therese Tucker, BlackLine’s founder and executive board chair added: “Barbara is a powerful force for positive social change. She shares my passion and commitment to advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in technology and leadership.”
Whye’s appointment comes after public pledges made by many of America’s leading companies following the death of George Floyd to increase diversity on their boards.
However, according to recent analysis by the Institutional Shareholder Services’ ESG division the boards of the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies are still overwhelmingly white.
The research, published in September 2020, found that underrepresented ethnic and racial groups make up 40 percent of the U.S. population but just 12.5 percent of board directors, up from 10 percent in 2015.