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THE BEAM // Special Edition: Governance 2.1

Defining Diversity and Why It Matters

Recently, experiential and cognitive diversity, sometimes referred to as “diversity of thought,” has started to gain traction as a more “nuanced kind of diversity” as it relates to hiring and building teams. To some, this conceptual shift may seem insignificant, but the subtle pivot away from intentionally increasing demographic diversity is impacting organizations at the highest level.

A recent Harvard Business Review article discusses this trend among corporate boards. The article details a decrease in the efforts being made to appoint individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations to these positions, and consequently, a decrease in their rate of appointment. While it is important directors have strong technical and experiential backgrounds, data suggests there are numerous benefits to demographically diverse boards, including long-term financial success of the companies they govern.

Luckily, it is possible to build recruitment and selection processes that ensure a blend of both demographic and experience-based diversity. Our hope is that after reading this article, you take time to reflect on why it is that you value diversity on your board of directors and what you are hoping to achieve by creating a diverse board. By keeping these goals in mind, you can be sure that your recruitment strategies are in line with getting the results you really want.

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