While it’s encouraging that boards are focusing more on addressing gender, ethnicity and diversity in the boardroom, a lot of boards are struggling to realize their full potential. Boards that make use of the recruitment of diverse directors to “check boxes” might end up with a board that is demographically diverse, but lacking in cognitive diversity, which can make it difficult for boards https://affordableboard.com/4-key-components-of-a-successful-strategic-plan/ to function effectively.

If the right mix of perspectives is brought to a board and the results are transformational. For instance, if women are on boards and their views on subjects like marketing or merchandising come to bear in deliberations, the result can be an improved understanding of the customer and their needs, which will likely increase sales and profits.

Diversity can also enhance the work environment of a business. A board with a diverse population is more aware of issues such as discrimination in the workplace and sexual harassment and better equipped to anticipate changes in attitudes of employees about equal pay and workplace practices.

If a board wants to take its diversity initiatives to the next level, a great place to start is by thinking about what it could look like in the future and how it will identify and recruit candidates with the necessary expertise, experience, and contacts to make the change. To this end you could think about conducting a self-assessment on its current composition and using resources like Michigan Nonprofit Association’s board diversity tool to initiate honest conversations among board members and other key stakeholders about what the board’s requirements are in terms of diversity.