Increasing board diversity – why and how?

Photo by FangXiaNuo/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by FangXiaNuo/iStock / Getty Images

Diversity Partners’ CEO, Dr Katie Spearritt, regularly speaks about how boards can improve their performance by promoting greater diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and thinking styles.

This recent article in the Australian Financial Review says: “The diversity issue goes beyond the critical issue of getting more women to include a greater age spread and different skill sets.” The article includes this comment from Katie about how the board chair influences engagement and performance:

The role of the Board chair  is “absolutely critical”, says Spearritt. “You have to have a chair who is actively, consciously inclusive in their approach, and who knows how to leverage the diversity of perspective and backgrounds, who can facilitate discussion and ask for people to challenge their views, and who can ensure that the quietest voice in the room is heard. All of those little techniques make for a much more engaged board and a much more robust conversation at board level. And if you’ve got that, you’ve generally got better corporate governance, and that leads to better performance,” she says.

Katie has also spoken about this subject in other articles, including this one in EY’s global magazine.