Want to Join a Corporate Board? Here’s How - Troy Taylor

Image from Unsplash by Tatiana Balletti

I recently read an article published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Board Governance, by Susan S. Muck, Fenwick & West LLP, titled ‘Want to Join a Corporate Board? Here’s How’. The article resonated with me due to its focus on the recruitment of non-traditional backgrounds, and how that is enhancing the diversity on corporate boards.

2020 was a vital year in terms of diversity and inclusion, due to which organizations are under scrutiny to ensure diverse teams, leadership, and boards. Hence, this has made it a great time for or business leaders interested in joining corporate boards — including professionals from nontraditional backgrounds and minority groups — to make the leap to their deserved, and desired roles.

For decades, recruitment for boards has been restricted to current or retired CEOs, CFO’s or existing board members. Now, board recruitment has become more accessible and is open to deserving candidates who may not have previously served in the c-suite.

The article goes on to highlight several reasons as to why diversity on boards leads to higher profitability, wider horizons, and fresh perspectives.

“First, research continues to show that increased diversity in the boardroom is connected to stronger corporate performance. And diversity isn’t just about gender and ethnicity — candidates with disparate ages, experience levels, and professional or economic backgrounds offer valuable insights and skills that are particularly welcome, if not critical, in today’s business environment. One study of Fortune 250 companies found that having a variety of experiences and perspectives at the table allows companies to better understand opportunities, anticipate challenges, and assess the various risks, consequences, and implications of possible actions. Nontraditional candidates can use these findings to their advantage.”

“Second, while diversity remains low, it’s on the rise. The speed of change in the business world has been forcing leadership to bring in new perspectives. Spencer Stuart reports that today’s new directors are younger and more diverse than ever before. The share of women and minorities joining corporate boards last year hit record highs, as 45% of new Russell 3000 board seats were filled by women and 21% of new seats in the Standard & Poor’s 500 were filled by minorities.”

The article concludes that one can get invaluable professional experience from serving on a corporate board. Furthermore, being from a non-traditional background, one can directly impact a board by advancing their efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive organization.

You can read the original article here.

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