e.l.f. Beauty Calls for Diversity in Boardrooms With 'So Many Dicks' Campaign

The brand highlights that men named 'Dick' outnumber women and diverse groups on US corporate boards

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A striking fact lays bare inequities in corporate leadership: There are more men named “Dick” on public company boards in the U.S. than women or diverse groups. 

“So Many Dicks,” the wryly named campaign from e.l.f. Beauty, uncovers this unsettling truth to underscore the need for more diversity in seats of power. Starting Monday and running through June 10, the beauty brand’s out-of-home ads will appear throughout New York’s Financial District, home to major financial institutions and numerous other companies grappling with this very issue. 

“So many dicks, so few of everyone else,” the tagline reads, employing the brand’s signature cheeky tone of voice.  

With agency Oberland, e.l.f. conducted research on the race and gender makeup of corporate boards in the U.S., across 36,957 existing board members and 4,429 publicly traded companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. The findings include: 

  • There were 566 men named Richard, Rick or Dick serving on those boards. 
  • Hispanic women numbered 283, only one-half the number of “Dicks.”
  • There were 806 Black women and 774 Asian women on boards. 

These ads are part of e.l.f.’s “Change the Board Game” initiative, which aims to help double the rate of women and diverse members added to corporate boards by 2027. 

Earlier this month, tennis legend Billie Jean King starred in the launch ad, in which she serves tennis balls at a board meeting. Each ball contains illuminating facts, such as that women make up only 27% of U.S. corporate boards and that the average corporate board is 88% white.  

The beauty brand also partnered with the National Association of Corporate Directors as a sponsor of its NACD Accelerate program, which creates a pathway to board service for diverse and female candidates.

“We will always strive to represent the diverse communities we serve,” said e.l.f. chief marketing officer Kory Marchisotto. “Our hope is that we can help spark a movement toward normalizing diversity. By changing the board game, we can show the next generation embarking on their careers what’s e.l.f.ing possible while encouraging positive business results for all.” 

With this campaign, e.l.f. makes the point that greater diversity in boardrooms can fuel business growth. The brand is one of four U.S. public traded companies out of 4,200 with a board that is two-thirds women and one-third diverse, and it has reported 20 consecutive quarters of net sales growth. 

“One of the most important things a diverse board does is bring in multiple viewpoints to make better decisions,” e.l.f. Beauty chairman and CEO Tarang Amin said in a statement. “A diverse board also helps us stay culturally relevant among multiple affinities … [and] helps us lead innovation and brand demand in the industry.”

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