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Corporate Leadership

Corporate America Loves the Rooney Rule. But Does It Work?

Taking a play from the NFL, companies are diversifying the candidates they interview, but aren’t necessarily hiring them. 

    

    

Source: iStockphoto/Getty Images

Corporate America borrowed its favorite diversity initiative from the National Football League. But the “Rooney Rule” —  a practice of interviewing minority candidates for top jobs — hasn’t led to more Black head coaches, or a more diverse C-suite. 

In recent years, the Rooney Rule has gone from barely mentioned in the corporate world to being adopted by at least 100 public companies for recruiting people at all levels amid the backdrop of a national reckoning on race, sparked by the 2020 murder of George Floyd by police.