Diversifying Boards and why you need to

Welcome to the 67th episode of the Diverse Minds Podcast. On today’s I talk about diversifying boards and why, if you are an employer, you need to diversify them. I also talk about why individuals need to join boards as a way of broadening the thought pool. 

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In today’s show, we talk about:

  • Why the topic of board diversity has resurfaced again. [00:52]
  • About the 2020 report by the Parker review community on ethnic diversity on boards. [01:20]
  • The importance of having a diverse boardroom. [05:50]
  • How non-executive trustees play a big part in the life of all organisations. [07:50]
  • Some tips to consider if you want to join a board [12:35]

Statistics that provide context on Diversifying Boards

  • As of 31st December 2019, 37% of companies surveyed in the FTSE 100 and 69% of the FTSE 250 have not met the target of at least one ethnic minority director on their board. 
  • Only 6.8% of all FTSE 350 companies had directors of colour/global majority on their boards, with 8 companies accounting for nearly 25% of those that do. 
  • In general, charity boards are less diverse than the general public and they also tend not to reflect the communities they serve. 
  • According to the Taken on Trust research by the Charity Commission, only 8% of trustees are non-white compared with 14% of the UK population (source: 2011 census).
  • 7 out of 10 trustees are men and the median age is 61 years. 
  • The Charity Commission estimates that only 0.5% of the trustee population is made up of 18-24-year-olds.
  • 81% of charities recruit for trustees by word of mouth or personal recommendation, according to The Charity Commission.
  • 94% of school governors and trustees identify as white, 1% as Black, 2% as Asian, and 1% as mixed or being of multiple ethnic groups, which compares to a pupil population where 73% of school pupils are white, 6% Black, 12% Asian, 6% mixed or multiple groups and 2% another ethnic minority. 
  • The survey also found that young people (aged under 40) are underrepresented with a higher proportion of volunteers aged 70 and over (14%) than there are aged under 40 (11%).

Quotes on Diversifying Boards

  • I think there is a place for quotas because things are not changing quickly enough.
  • In general, charity boards are less diverse in the general public, and they also tend not to reflect the communities they serve.
  • The thing with board roles is there is more to it than meets the eye.
  • I find diversity of people equates to depth and breadth of insight perspective, communication skills and life experience. 
  • Board diversity reduces group think.

Resources on Diversifying Boards

Other podcasts/resources related to this episode: 

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