Why Boardroom Diversity Should be Important to Your Small Business
A more diverse team is of great benefit to any business. People with different backgrounds, values, skills and personalities working together as a team can help a business to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems.
The management board is the mind of a company. The boardroom is where the strategic decisions are made, risk is managed and good governance is applied. As such, it is vital that an effective and balanced board consists of a diverse blend of high-quality individuals bringing a mix of experience, skills and different backgrounds to the table.
Women and men can have different risk appetites. Engineers and traditional accountants (we are much cooler than that) may have a more linear, ‘process management’ type view of a business. Creative types from a marketing background may have new and interesting ideas to bring to the table. All have something to contribute to a management board.
Your board members should be armed with up to date knowledge and skills. They should be capable of applying a healthy dose of common sense, no matter what their background, age or experience. If all boards were made up of similarly minded people, firms could end up suffering the effects of ‘group think’ – where the strategic direction of travel is decided by like-minded individuals who fail to challenge each other’s decisions.
As such, any management board should consist of women and men (ideally in equal measure) and individuals from different backgrounds, industries, countries and cultures. Beliefs, religious, political or otherwise should be left outside the boardroom door and your board members should be prepared to work together in order to deliver the right strategic and tactical decisions for the company.
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