Mark Twain observed once upon a time, “Anyone who can think of only one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.”
The same applies to corporate houses. An organization with a unidirectional thinking would seldom survive in today’s highly competitive market place. It has become imperative for organizations to include diverse people from different genders and backgrounds in order to continue evolving.
Countries and companies in the recent times have started taking proactive measures towards the persistent lack of diversity in the corporate boardrooms. With all the top companies releasing their diversity data, an evolution is surely under way; however we need to clearly understand the aspects of boardroom diversity which make it unavoidable.
The degree to which directors have an access to a diverse pool of talent is directly proportional to effective corporate governance. A diverse set of perspectives, knowledge and competencies would come really handy during important discussions and decisions.
A diverse boardroom reflects the reality of the world and hence enables the company to effectively do business in the real world by reaching out to diverse customer bases. It makes the company more adaptable to change and more sensitive to customer needs and issues. A diverse board would ensure that the company does not miss out on any sensitive aspect of consideration.
A top leader would always learn and opine based on not only all the brains he has but also all the brains that he can borrow or reach out to. It needs to be understood by each organization that good governance by definition itself means having a breadth of perspective.
Apart from these, diversity in a boardroom directly translates into better risk management, better innovations, robust communication channels & stronger relations with the stakeholders.
Furthermore, this helps transform the thinking of the whole board in a long run. Board members start appreciating diverse perspectives and experiences in every single discussion or decision. They start to acknowledge the fact that being different is good and celebrating the difference is even better.
Diversity is indeed a virtue that defines the quality of any organization.