Let’s Talk About Diversity

When we think about diversity there is a tendency to believe that it is a factor present in every boardroom. Though much progress has been made, there is still a long way to go in boardrooms everywhere. What many people don’t realize is that diversity can actually help to really strengthen a board. It can help to unite the people and help them to work together in a cohesive way. The various points of view and life experiences can make the board better equipped to make key business decisions. Therefore it’s time to talk about diversity, the benefits that it brings, and how boardrooms can learn to embrace this concept as a positive factor.

This encompasses so many different things: We tend to look at diversity and think of only a couple of examples. It’s about much more than that though when it comes to diversity on a board. This encompasses individuals from different cultures, races, genders, but also different experience levels, ages, and walks of life. If you bring all of these elements together then you have a really well rounded group of people. You might not necessarily see how this could work well initially. As a matter of fact there may be a learning curve for working together and coming to see and understand each other’s perspectives. This is not only good for the board but also the corporation and the people that it serves. So though diversity does take a concerted effort and work to bring together, it can only bring positive things when it is a reality in the boardroom.

We’ve made progress but there’s still room for growth: The thing about diversity is that you never want to assume that you’re all set. This is a constant push to have various people from different walks of life working together in harmony. It’s not just a dream either for it has been proven that boards who have diversity in their makeup tend to be much more successful. Yes progress has been made and you see boards that display diversity at their core. There are some corporations and boards alike who see the need for diversity and have therefore made this their new norm and way of operating. There is always room for growth though, for when you look at certain sectors or industries there must be more improvement in this area.

This one element really helps boards to be well rounded and more efficient: When you think of what boards used to look like it was practically replicas of the same person in every single seat. You might think that this was what cohesiveness was all about, but it was just the contrary. The truth is that having people from different walks of life makes for a much more well rounded board. The various points of view can be discussed so that the appropriate actions can be taken. When you only have similar and like minded individuals serving on a board, there is a tendency to think only inside the box. Nobody wants to break from the norm and therefore the board tends to do the same things that have always been done. The problem is that this same old way doesn’t always work! So when you introduce diversity you help to bring about different people and different vantage points that can contribute to a more well rounded and efficient environment for making key decisions.

This can allow for multiple points of view and therefore more effective decision making: When you create a diverse environment within the board, you have various points of view sitting at the table. You will find that the individuals bring with them different perspectives and different life experiences. If they are younger then they are probably very in tune to the industry trends which offers a certain level of insight. If they are more experienced then they may have seen similar situations or have problem solving skills that they bring with them. When you marry all of these different perspectives and life experiences, you create a really robust board overall. This board is well equipped to handle the many different things that come their way. Though there is a learning curve when it comes to working together, once the board is past that they can be the greatest support to a corporation.

They can lean on each other and work together to make decisions that benefit everyone associated with that corporation. It is worth mentioning that creating this inclusive and cohesive diverse environment takes time and effort, but once you get there this is an amazing group of individuals who work towards a common goal or purpose. Diversity never used to be a hot issue like it is now in the boardroom. This has much to do with the fact that diversity brings together different points of view to make for a well rounded group of individuals. Diversity helps to bring a group together and unite to make key decisions that benefit everyone in the most effective way possible. It really is that powerful of a force and hopefully more and more boards will recognize the need for diversity in their boardroom.

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