Switching Gender Gears: 'So Many Dicks' Takes Over Wall Street

Gender and diversity inequality in corporate board rooms is legion.

Cosmetics company e.l.f. Beauty wants to change the equation — so it's taking its message to Wall Street.

The "Change the Board Game" initiative highlights that message with an OOH creative-marketing push: "So Many Dicks."

Created by Oberland, the "So Many Dicks" campaign is taking over the Oculus and Fulton Street subway station in Lower Manhattan for four weeks, launching May 13.

Thousands of analysts, brokers, bankers, and financial industry executives use the station daily.

The campaign has several components, including a database that breaks down the diversity makeup of the 35,000 existing board seats across the 4,200 publicly traded U.S. companies. For example, there are twice as many men named “Dick” on publicly-traded boards than all Hispanic women by any name.



Oberland and e.l.f. Beauty identified the race and gender of all 35,000-plus people serving on the boards of directors of U.S.-based companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ using publicly available sources such as biographies and public filings.

They found twice as many men named Dick than Hispanic women. Asian and Black women barely outnumber men named Dick: 774 Asian women, 806 Black women, and 566 men named Dick. Only three Native Americans are serving on these boards vs. the 566 Dicks.

"Change the Board Game" also has a board accelerator program that trains and creates visibility for 20 female and/or diverse board-ready candidates with the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Visibility is crucial — because gender diverse boards carry economic benefits. E.l.f. found they are 27% more likely to outperform financially. Plus, ethnically diverse boards are 13% more likely to outperform boards that aren’t diverse, enhancing profitability.

Lisa Topol, executive creative director-managing partner at Oberland, says: “We took inspiration for the creative from a larger problem to solve. To understand the extent of the issue, we didn’t just run the numbers against all men, we ran it against one. And it turns out the problem is big. Really big. Men named “Dick,” just Dick, outnumber entire groups of underrepresented people on corporate boards. That has to change and we wanted that urgency to reflect in the work with eye-catching facts and relatable humor. And we know it can be done.”

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