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Five Tips for Cultivating a Diverse Board

By Net Assets posted 10 days ago


(From Kellogg Insight) As more states move forward with efforts to encourage diversity across corporate boards, nonprofit leaders would do well to reassess and amend the systems and functions of the board, advise thought leaders in education leadership, Sophia Shaw and Angelique Power. Here are five ideas for developing and sustaining a more inclusive board:

  1. Reassess your board's goals and selection criteria to unlock a more diverse candidate pool beyond solely traditional criteria, including giving potential or corporate connections. Instead, consider lived experience in similar boards to recruit individuals who may be better able to represent the voices and experiences of the individuals or communities the organization serves.
  2. To make space for new candidates, seek opinions and recommendations from a wide range of stakeholders, including the organization's staff, partners and community. 
  3. Understand the internal politics of your organization's board to bring light to underlying biases or differences in opinion. Additionally, leaders may consider working with a facilitator to discuss race and institutional bias. 
  4. Create an environment for new board members to contribute meaningfully by making sure that board members are clear on their responsibilities when it comes to inclusion.
  5. Encourage long-standing board members, particularly those who represent majority groups, to think carefully about what it means to be an ally. For example, ask how someone with privilege can help push someone else's work forward, whether that's leading from the front or by stepping aside and listening.

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