(AP) Now that the National Football League has a record number of head coaches who are black and Hispanic, can Fortune 500 companies borrow from the league's diversity playbook and see similar results among corporate executives?
Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, thinks so. He is urging corporate America to adopt a version of the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when filling head coach and general manager positions.
Currently, seven NFL coaches are black and one is Hispanic. Five general managers are minorities. In 2003, when the rule was implemented, there were three African American NFL head coaches.
Unlike the NFL rule, which is mandatory for teams, Johnson is asking companies to voluntarily adopt a version of the rule.
In Johnson's version, which he calls the RLJ Rule, companies would include at least two African Americans among interviewees for positions of vice president and above and interview at least two black firms when searching for vendor and supplier services contractors.