How much does diversity really matter to an organization--externally?
A New York Times article took a look at how today's organizations may have even put into their policies a commitment to diversifying their boards but have very little to show to this commitment. The Times asks: Companies today earn points for listening to their shareholders and agreeing to change governance practices that are seen as unenlightened or troublesome. But is there a penalty if a company reneges on its promise of change? And further into the article: The continuing problem of homogeneity in corporate boards is a case in point. Despite shareholder efforts to bring more diversity to these posts, women and minorities are still few and far between in the boardroom. These hushed precincts still fit the description given by one governance expert: “male, pale and stale.”
As the rest of the article points out, organizations that pay attention and act to diversify the composition of their board can improve their results (e.g. the value of the company worth). But making these changes can clearly be perceived as too much work. Really? And while we are predominantly discussing for-profits, what about nonprofits? Just how diverse are they? And what is the impact of diversifying the composition of a nonprofit's board? I'd welcome hearing about folks' experiences about their non-diverse and diverse boards; the processes used to diversify; and what has been the impact when diversity was a focus.