The challenges and complexities faced by organizations and businesses require boards to have an array of capabilities as their main resource. Diverse board members provide the depth of expertise, multiple perspectives, and the wealth of experience required for effective discussions that lead to well-rounded and informed decisions.

Many boards still struggle to make the transition from «nice-to-have» to a requirement. The discussion about diversity in boardrooms revolves around ethnic and social background as well as gender however, the discussion needs to expand beyond these categories to include a variety of backgrounds, skills and experiences.

To have a diverse board, it requires dedication and a shift in the way we think. Some trustees aren’t happy with the prospect of changing their traditional procedures, for example, the tendency for board nomination committees to cast their search in the same areas for new members. Boards can diversify their membership by expanding the search horizons and including diverse communities. They can also seek out candidates with expertise in areas that the company is most in need of (for example, an organization focusing on marketing may be seeking applicants who are knowledgeable about geopolitics, or multinational companies may require directors with a geopolitical background) and establishing relationships prior to when the need arises historically underrepresented candidates.

Board members who have a more egalitarian board culture believe that having the proper mix of social and professional diversity helps create a board environment where everyone’s opinions are respected. They state that a diverse board is better able to deal with the complexities that confront their company as well as the concerns of their stakeholders and customers.

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