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Exploring Opportunities for Women on Boards Through Diversity

  • 27th Apr'22

The extreme lack of diversity we have in the work field goes without saying. Men vastly outnumber women in the workforce. And to make things worse, the pandemic has affected working women more than men. It has been a long ongoing practice and is due to change for a while now. We need, in fact, the world needs more women in high profile roles, such as women on the board of directors. The only way to bring such changes is to create diversity through promotion and practice.


How to Bring Diversity

You may hear constant chirping about why diversity is much needed today, and many even advocate it, but only a few follow on their words. However, here are a few crucial tips that you can practice to bring more diversity and get more opportunities for women on boards through diversity.

Perform a Diversity Audit

A significant first step to understanding the lack of diversity is to conduct a range of audits to discover the composition of your organization. Compare the demographics of your body of workers with the demographics of your board. Is there enough diversity? Can you find out the reasons behind it? If you can do this, you must understand that it is time to revisit your recruitment practices. Thus, ultimately, the audit will provide a viewpoint of your progress and ways to improve it.


Put More Into Recruitment Efforts

While adding new board members, organizations often look into the place of experience and knowledge. While it's the most preferred and treasured approach, broadening the hunt past the norm could bring surprising results. A company can lead a task force to extend recruitment efforts and look deeper at the MBA programs, government management programs, nearby faculties and universities, and expert associations. Even it can bring you a great woman as a board member.


Practice Commitment to Board Diversity

It is essential to ensure commitment at the highest level. Diversity begins with the board and senior management prioritizing specific efforts and sourcing the necessary resources. If not already in place, develop a board diversity policy. Diversity policies can range from something simple to a longer and more detailed document. As your organization evolves, you can adjust your approach as needed. Most importantly, you can use it to guide your diversification efforts and provide transparency in the future.

Bring More Seats to Increase Diversity

Most boards have a low turner in general. As a result, it has become increasingly tricky to increase board diversity. But allow me to share an easy way to address it. Add more diversified board positions without waiting for a board member to resign or retire. In the longer term, boards should consider addressing low turnover rates with measures that reduce board numbers, length of service, and turnover promotion.


Keep track of Existing Board Members

To stay focused on your commitment to diversity, regularly monitor your progress. Identify key metrics and make those metrics public with a diversity tracker. This method will show engagement and hold the team accountable. A monitoring mechanism will also make it easier to identify areas for improvement. Executives and CEOs know that diverse backgrounds and perspectives are critical to driving innovation. 

Furthermore, diversity and inclusion policies are valuable recruiting and retention tools in the hunt for global talent. Although companies have made some progress, much remains to be done. It is vitally important to continue to seek diverse candidates for board service, as that is what the future requires. And finally, it's a good deal.


Keep Succession Plans

Boards frequently come up with various succession plans while at the time of retirement of any board member. Also, at retirement, the techniques may no longer be constantly obvious approximately what the actual plans are. For this reason, the board must formalize succession plans in advance. More importantly, the plans must get shared with all directors as it can lead to greater possibilities to supply in-call for various candidates.

Become the Change

Ambition without cause is meaningless. If you really want to diversify the board room, start with yourself; become the change and a reason that isn't always looking for huge benefits as it will come across as selfish and greedy. Also, it's no longer sufficient to achieve diversity from excellent work. Women will have to take a nod from the trailblazing women or become one. If needed, stand up and make it known to the CEO and the board of directors why you must become a board member? Value your ambition and aim for that desired position. Acknowledge yourself as a leader and use that belief to make a difference in the world.


Make the Board of Directors Understand

You can proactively practice the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. It can save a lot of time for you, especially if you have a busy day or week. However, the decision to stay within the "norm" can impact the bottom line as the board of directors must address gender inequality in the boardroom as an important business. Convince executives to understand that collective thinking can negatively impact a board's decision-making process.

Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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