This symposium essay summarizes our ongoing ethnographic research on corporate board diversity, discussing the central tension in our respondents’ views – their overwhelmingly enthusiastic support of board diversity coupled with an inability to articulate coherent accounts of board diversity benefits that might rationalize that enthusiasm. As their reactions make clear, frank dialogue about race and gender – even a seemingly benign discussion of diversity’s benefits – can be a difficult conversation. 




Lissa L. Broome, John M. Conley & Kimberly D. Krawiec, A Difficult Conversation: Corporate Directors on Race and Gender, 26 Pace International Law Review, 13–22 (2014).