The recent report by RSM Decoding the Charity Governance Code reported that of the 85 charities analysed only 19 had published diversity statements. It would be great to think that diversity is starting to be addressed but charities are not ready to make public statements, but this might not be the case.
When the Charity Code of Governance was first published, I began to work with charities and independent schools on bringing diversity to the Board. It is, of course, much wider than Board representation but the top felt like a good place to start.
I thought it would be helpful if Board discussions had a question to focus on and so the question I started off with was – Will diversity strengthen our Board? I had assumed the answer would be a resounding YES and we would move onto doing something interesting. Well, the answer was NO, we are doing fine, thank you.
Thinking that it must strengthen boards, I revisited my question – How will diversity strengthen our Board? This led to a little more dialogue but very quickly started to focus on the visible aspects of diversity which for various reasons became awkward and started missing the point.
My third attempt?
As a result of not bringing diversity to our Board, what great opportunities are we going to miss out on?
The charity and independent school sector has to start seeing diversity as an opportunity and not as ….