Taking Board Diversity to the Next Level
It’s encouraging to see boards increasing their focus on gender and ethnicity, as well as diversity, but many of them are struggling to realize their full potential. Boards that use the recruitment of diverse directors to “check boxes” could end up with a board that is demographically diverse but lacking in cognitive diversity, which could hinder the effectiveness of the board.
If diversity is brought into boards in a positive way, the results can be transformative. When women are included on a board, their views on issues like merchandising and marketing are able to be incorporated in deliberations. The result is a better understanding of the customer and their needs, which will increase sales and profits.
The benefits of diversity could extend to the outside environment of the business. For example boards with members from a variety of demographics can be more aware of issues involving discrimination in the workplace and sexual harassment and more likely to anticipate changes in attitudes of employees about equal pay and other corporate practices.
If a board is looking to take its efforts in diversity to the next level it’s best to think about what the board will look like and how it will identify and hire candidates www.affordableboard.com/4-key-components-of-a-successful-strategic-plan/ who possess the knowledge, skills, experience and contacts necessary to make that happen. To accomplish this, the board might conduct a self-assessment of their current composition. It could also use resources such as the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s board diversity tool to spark open conversations between board members as well as key stakeholders about what they look for in terms diversity.