Directors must prioritise diversity of thought and life experience advises new report by Institute of Business Ethics.
A new report published today by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) examines the case for delivering real diversity and inclusion in the boardroom. While much progress has been made, especially around gender, the push for diversity has not yet delivered on its full potential. The report makes ten key recommendations to embed genuine diversity of thought and life experience at board level.
Welcoming the report, IBE’s Director Dr Ian Peters commented:
“2020 has finally seen the issue of diversity take the prominent role it deserves for companies of every size and type. But it is important that a new focus on boardroom diversity is not just about hitting quotas, but about the embedding of real diversity in all its dimensions.
“An ethical business needs to listen to the diverse voices of its stakeholders, and its board needs to reflect them. Boards need to think and listen differently if they are to meet not only their ethical obligations but also their business potential. This report provides ten practical steps to effect real change; we encourage the business community to demonstrate their commitment to this change by adopting these measures in how they think, how they look, and how they operate.”
- Understand and explore the diversity of thought and experience on the board
- Ensure that the company’s push for diversity and inclusion is a strategic and commercial imperative for the organisation
- Look critically at the culture in the boardroom.
- Review nomination and succession planning processes for all board and executive committee appointments.
- Look critically at the individual roles assigned to board members
- Learn from the experience of improving gender balance and learn from the experience of other sectors
- Understand the company’s stakeholders. Actively listen and respond to them.
- Communicate aims and milestones internally and externally
- Learn from a more challenging board evaluation
- Recognise inequalities and racism as systemic risks to the economy and see diversity and inclusion as an opportunity for long-term change.
Download the report here