Urban Outfitters Board Denounced for Refusal to Include Women or Minorities

Nadra Kareem, Change, August 1, 2011

You’d think a corporation that owns multiple brands catering solely to women would have a female-heavy board of directors. But for clothing giant Urban Outfitters Inc.–which owns Free People, Anthropologie, and BHLDN–the opposite is true. Seven people serve on the company’s board of directors. Guess how many are women: None.

Guess how many are people of color: None.

In May, Calvert Investments, which promotes socially responsible investing, urged Urban Outfitters to consider including women and minorities on its board in the future. The result? Urban Outfitters rebuffed them, denying that they had a diversity problem, according to Calvert senior analyst Aditi Mohapatra.

{snip} In 2011, that’s unacceptable, which is why Mohapatra launched a petition on Change.org demanding that Urban Outfitters diversify its all-male, all-white board.

{snip}

A board with no women and minorities is an insult to Urban Outfitters’ diverse clientele. Join organizations such as Calvert and 2020 Women on Boards in letting Urban Outfitters know that an all-white, all-board is unacceptable. {snip}

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  • Anonymous

    So a likely competent and qualified white male employee should step down, why exactly? Do any of these liberal types ever consider the fact that maybe these guys worked hard for years to reach this position and deserve to be there? I personally have no problem with women or minorities in a high ranking job either in the private sector or even the government, but ONLY if they show through years of hard work that they are intelligent, and competent, and deserving of the position. Making a qualified person step down and give up their position to someone less qualified based ONLY on the other persons race or gender just sounds terribly sexist and racist to me.

  • Howard W. Campbell

    I’ve got a very simple solution, let a black owned bank or equity firm make an offer to buy out Urban Outfitters. Then they can staff it with all colors, both sexes, people of various sexual orientations, etc. Buy back all of the stock and resell it only to women and “people of color”. If this group can run it, more power to them. However, we would more likely see President Obama hand this new firm an endless source of bailout money.

    One time on TV, I saw a black woman complaining that “after 400 years, we don’t even have a Walgreens”. Why is that? I’m not aware of any law that states “Black people are forbidden to own pharmacy chains”. I guess it is hard to build a supply chain when people boost all of the links.

    If the current stockholders believed that green martians could do a better job than the all white male board, wouldn’t whitey be out the door?

  • Escape Velocity

    If an organization is all female or all colored, it’s considered wonderful, diversity, and it’s something that must be celebrated. There are even schools and universities made up like that. Even pausing for long enough before celebrating in an enthusiastic enough manner can be considered bigotry. I had a teacher once say all this diversity is about tolerance, period. For the most part, I would say it’s about being anti-white male, or hatred of white males.

  • anonymous

    Comments

    1 — Anonymous wrote at 9:13 PM on August 5:

    So a likely competent and qualified white male employee should step down, why exactly? Do any of these liberal types ever consider the fact that maybe these guys worked hard for years to reach this position and deserve to be there?

    _______________________________

    They’ve considered. They don’t care. All you are to them is an ATM machine. If you are a mainstream white man, they are utterly indifferent to your fate. If you are not mainstream (i.e. you are poor, working class, lower middle class, from the urban or rural underclass, educationally and socioeconomically disadvantaged, whatever) they want to keep you from getting your foot on the ladder in the first place. What part of “I hate your guts” don’t you understand? The socially conservative white man in all of his versions is the barrier that stands between then and their dream of a coerced “ideal” society. That’s why they don’t care what you do for your family and community. Or how you have reached out to help other people, including minority group members and women.

    Any man (even a minority man) who is not willing to be a cog in their political machine is marked for abuse and possible dispossession.

  • jewamongyou

    At Change.org, merely questioning racial dogma will get you banned. Take it from me. The only “diversity” they promote there is anti-white diversity.

    What I want to know is how many of the founders of Urban Outfitters were “people of color” or female?

    http://www.jewamongyou.wordpress.com

  • madison grant

    Hey Nadra Kareem, why don’t you start a clothing company run exclusively by women and/or minorities?

    Your company should be just as successful as the ones run by white men since we’re all equal under the skin (cough, cough).

  • Anonymous

    Well if having women and minorities makes a company so well run, why don’t these feminist join with blacks and start their clothing company. Why don’t they start their own clothing company and make a fortune? Ah, no they just want the executive jobs without the risk or long hours.

  • Question Diversity

    2 Howard W. Campbell wrote:

    I’m not aware of any law that states “Black people are forbidden to own pharmacy chains”

    Black neighborhoods can’t even sustain pharmacies. See the Jerome Ersland case in Oklahoma City.

  • Dave

    Urban Outfitters rebuffed them, denying that they had a diversity problem, according to Calvert senior analyst Aditi Mohapatra.

    In denial about their “diversity problem” huh? Maybe they need to hire an outside “diversity consultant” firm that will no doubt work diligently to fix this urgent problem for them (i.e., overpay to recruit minorities and women and fire White men).

    And anonymous at 10:16 PM is exactly right: If you are a White male they DON’T CARE what happens to you (White females are used as pawns to isolate and disenfranchise White males). White Males have enjoyed hundreds of years of preferences as far as they are concerned; and there is not enough you can give to atone for it. The supposed “preferences” enjoyed by your ancestors–even if indentured servants–still inure to your benefit regardless of present financial circumstances. You may now work for minimum wage, live in squalor, or starve for all they care.

  • Old Raleigh Native

    August 6, 2011

    Bottom of the Barrel: By Old Raleigh Native

    Some people just don’t understand freedom.

    In a free society, it’s the owners of a private business who get to decide who runs the business. – Period.

    For those who don’t like certain (lawful) things that a private company does,… they don’t have to BUY anything from that company. Or, they could start their OWN business and hire whom ever THEY choose.

    Besides, why should anyone CARE WHO makes a product if one likes and wants to buy the product?

    There is a word for what Nadra Kareem and change.org are trying to do. – EXTORTION.

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    I loved this comment posted at the original article:

    “They deny having a diversity problem? Of course they don’t have a problem-they are homogeneous.”

    It took me a moment to get it.

  • Howard W. Campbell

    To Question Diversity #8.

    It has been my experience that about the only businesses that blacks can sustain are the following: Liquor stores, convenience stores, barber/beauty/nail salons, fast food, and an undertaker. Black owned banks probably get by with a combination of lower capital requirements and the ability to impose real underwriting standards on their clientele without federal oversight and pressure.

    When I was in high school, we bought our booze primarily from black owned stores (via the local version of Otis Campbell). Occasionally we might get a friend who worked at a grocery store to set a case on the back dock and pass him enough for payment and a tip.

    A friend of mine who earned his MA in Economics about 20 years ago told me of his experience with a black run organization. This was a quasi government run outfit whose job it was to improve the economic standing of minorities (read blacks, there were virtually no Mexicans in that area then). This was through helping them qualify for loans, giving them strategies for expanding the business and so on. The vast majority of black run businesses were pretty much like whose mentioned above. I think he said that the largest black run “manufacturing” operation in that state had 3 full time people and 5 part time who would come in during a busy season. Also a mom and pop business. His boss demanded 12 hour days six to seven days a week and constantly pounded on him for not “doing his job”. BTW, he was the only white person working there. I guess the MA in Economics would magically allow him to turn sows ears into silk purses. As soon as a bank came calling, my friend was out of there.

    Prior to integration, blacks had plenty of their own businesses. Granted anything beyond a mom and pop operation was rare. But there were exceptions. Look up a guy named S.B. Fuller.

    “During the 1950s, Fuller was probably the richest African American man in the United States. His cosmetics company had $18 million in sales and a sales force of five thousand (one third of them white). It gave training to many future entrepreneurs and other leaders. “It doesn’t make any difference,” he declared, “about the color of an individual’s skin. No one cares whether a cow is black, red, yellow, or brown. They want to know how much milk it can produce.” ” (From Wikipedia)

    His downfall started in 1963 when he told the truth. “Negroes are not discriminated against because of the color of their skin. They are discriminated against because they have not anything to offer that people want to buy.”

    What in the world (besides protection) does Nadra Kareem have to offer?

  • Ben

    I don’t know about you but I am sick of always seeing half the models in the ads. as blacks. They are 12.5% of the population here and thats all that should be included in advertising unless your like McDonalds who seeks them out. Check out McDonalds website 365black meaning one month isn’t enough time to honor blacks in America. The other thing is I notice how many times the black guy is with a white female, this is sickening to me.

  • Anonymous

    You can go to Nadra Kareems (full name Nadra Kareem Nittle) Facebook page and see why she feels the way she does. Complete Leftist loon posting rants and crazy things about racial injustices. Not surprisingly all your rants are in support of perceived injustices committed by Whites against Blacks or women. Interestingly enough she is married to a white guy, who is a teacher at a middle school. These are the whack jobs that are teaching kids these days. I still have a really hard time with feminists aligning themselves with Blacks when Blacks are easily the worst offenders against woman’s rights, historically and current day. White men treat women better than any other male racial group.

  • Anonymous

    Classic shakedown.

    Poster #3 hit the nail on the head. Why is it that if an organization has zero white males, none of these scammers try to take them to task? The supreme court has zero white, anglo-saxon, protestant males. Where are the howls of protest?

  • Anonymous

    “If the current stockholders believed that green martians could do a better job than the all white male board, wouldn’t whitey be out the door?”

    Yes, the idea that discriminating against competent employees harms the company itself and ultimately drives them out of business. They thing is, if every company discriminates there are no negative effect on any individual company within the close loop.

  • Anonymous

    Situations like the one at Urban Outfitters reminds me that I am no longer living in a free society. I am a white man. No longer is my work ethic or experience enough to allow me to make a living or make my dreams come true.

    Demanding that Urban Outfitters “Diversify” the board of directors is outright unamerican. The funny part about this is that there are American white people who feel that this is nessesary and a good thing. Forgetting that those white men probably worked very hard and sacrificed much to get to those positions.

    Every time I see a female or minority in a position of power or presige (Airline pilot, fighter pilot, executive, police officer) I feel that a well qualified white man has been pushed aside. I try to imagine how that white man may feel about not getting the position he desired. It must be crushing.

    It is true that blacks who stomp thier feet and demand these changes are the most evil people of all and they get away with it.

  • Jack

    “The result? Urban Outfitters rebuffed them, denying that they had a diversity problem, according to Calvert senior analyst Aditi Mohapatra”

    Like I would accept the opinion of some fool named “Aditi Mohapatra,” someone that should not be here in the first place.

  • Rara Avis

    So, let me get this straight. Urban Outfitters is supposed to hand over what whites spent years creating, building up, putting up the seed money for and sacrificing many long, hard hours to blacks and browns? Whites who build prosperous businesses from the ground up are now mandated to kow-tow to black demands that THEY be included on the board of directors and in the decision-making process?

    Message to blacks: Build your own business and “slave” hard for years to make it prosperous.

    You deserve NOTHING from Urban Outfitters. They owe you NOTHING except utter scorn and contempt for you trying to horn in on a business THEY created and have a right to run as they see fit without input or interference from you.

    I hope Urban Outfitters fights you tooth and nail with everything they’ve got.

    If Urban Outfitters bows to black demands that they be put on the board of directors, I will NEVER set foot in there again and will bad mouth this company to everyone I know, including writing reviews on line. Everyone needs to do this.

  • Svigor

    I’m with the leftoids on this one. I think all CEOs should be black.

    Let’s start with top-down “diversity.” Why should the elite get a pass from the very values they promote?

    “Diversity” from the top down.