by Jeremy Leaming
The Rooney Rule, which has helped promote diversity in the NFL coaching and managerial ranks, should also be expanded in corporate America, says Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television.
The Washington Post reports that Johnson and other African-American and Latino corporate leaders are calling on more companies to “voluntarily embrace a plan to interview at least two qualified black or Hispanic candidates for every job at the vice president level or higher.”
The plan is based, The Post reports, on the NFL’s Rooney Rule that requires football teams to interview one or more minority candidates for head coaching and general manager openings. Cyrus Mehri, a founding partner of Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, and the late Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. were instrumental in the NFL’s implementation of the Rooney Rule.
Johnson told The Post that the business leaders have tried to get the Obama administration to help push more companies to adopt the rule and are now taking more aggressive actions on their own to influence more corporations. Johnson (pictured) said the group of business leaders would urge the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable to get behind the push for an expanded use of a Rooney-type rule in corporate America.
Luis Ramirez, president and chief executive of Global Power, told The Post, “We need people who have diverse backgrounds and experiences to add to the populations of executives and corporate board members.”