Kirsten Patterson, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors, is facilitating the Diverse Thinking Governance Summit 2018 and also presenting on IOD’s Future Directors programme and how to jumpstart your governance career on 19 November 2018 at Spark City, Auckland
As CE of an organisation that promotes governance best practice, I advocate for diversity around board tables. The Institute of Directors is committed to helping. We run Mentoring for Diversity and Future Directors programmes. Our guide Getting on board with diversity, outlines five steps for board diversity and is one of our most popular publications.
The complexities of leveraging and getting the best out of diverse thinking is a growing area of interest in board reviews.
The first step for getting diverse thinking on boards is to create an inclusive culture. However much of the conversation instead starts and then stalls on board composition (Step 3), or to the appointment of diverse talent (Step 4), or to targets (Step 5).
A few weeks ago California became the first US first state to require that women be included on company boards. Governor Jerry Brown signed the contentious bill but potential flaws may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation. Here in NZ the Minister for Women recently raised the idea of quotas for women on state sector boards and changes to current workplace cultures.
I’m not convinced quotas are the answer in New Zealand. Instead, my challenge to you is: Can we change our culture and make diversity happen here without recourse to quotas? How do we go about creating more inclusive cultures? There is much work to be done.
By embracing true diversity of thought and leveraging the broader conversations that follow, organisations are better positioned to create a better performing, more productive, innovative and prosperous economy, and importantly, a more inclusive society.
Kirsten Patterson, CE, Institute of Directors