The business benefits of board diversity—as well as employee, activist and government pressure—are finally bringing diversity to boards. But, Heidrick and Struggles reports, while women secured a record number of Fortune 500 independent director appointments in 2017, gender parity for new appointments (let alone representation) will be achieved by 2025 at the earliest. US under-represented minorities are even farther away, with only 23.7 percent of board appointments in 2017. Other types of diversity—such as disability—are not even being tracked. So what is a board to do? Hint: Strong leadership from the top makes the difference. Also, being willing to expand qualifications beyond “former CEO” and “prior board experience,”--almost 36 percent of board appointees in 2017 were new to board service.
Harvard Business Review, Marta Geletkanycz, Cynthia E. Clark, and Patricia Gabaldon, 10/03/2018