A recent Wall Street Journal Article (from December 28th, 2016) commented on the exclusion of women from dozens of boards for years, as outlined by an analysis by Equilar for the WSJ.
One of the more revealing aspects of the study was the fact that in 2011, companies that had three or more female board members for the last five years financially outperformed those companies with no female board members.
While the article does not delve into other factors that may have had an impact on the performance of these companies, it does provoke some thought, particularly in these times of female empowerment and other recent diversity exclusions. The days of the “Old Boy” boardroom are slowly going away, and we believe it's all for the good.
In our opinion, it is important to include not only women on your board, but people of varying backgrounds- not simply for the sake of diversity, but for the varying viewpoints that diversity brings. A company whose board is made up entirely of people from the same walks of life, the same beliefs, the same backgrounds are sorely missing out on the objectivity and thorough discussion a diverse board can provide. If your board is cookie-cutter in profile, that’s exactly what you’ll have- a group of folks who in other times would’ve been referred to as “yes men”.
The key takeaway for us- Don’t be afraid to invite differing opinions to the table as it can help the company grow exponentially in ways previously not considered.