Even with increasing attention on the need to diversify, women and people of color still only make up 30% of the directors on boards in these companies. There have been small upticks in minority representation (12.8% in 2010 to 14.4% in 2016), but it is important to think about how to maintain this forward movement as board openings emerge.
Organizations should be thinking strategically about how to bring a wider range of ideas and perspectives to the table. When the only place board members are drawn from is the pool of top senior executives, the diversity of the board will reflect the currently low levels of diversity within those positions. When seeking new directors, looking beyond the obvious CEO/CFO choices will dramatically increase opportunities to add highly qualified candidates with new perspectives.
Companies should also consider that, in addition to race, ethnicity and gender mix can make their reach broader. Board members who have different skill sets, types of education, and life experiences can make the work of a nonprofit more effective and inclusive.