Good Practice

Diversity at the Head Table: Bringing Complementary Skills and Experiences to the Board

September 9, 2010

Private Sector Opinion 19: by Dr. Yılmaz Argüden. Well-functioning board of directors needs diversity of experience and perspectives. If everybody thinks the same, then there is no need for a board; one individual would suffice! Diversity for its own sake, however, is not an improvement in governance; what matters is the combination of complementary skills and experiences that members bring to the table to better address the challenges the company is likely to face.

The paper focuses on the following areas of diversity: Industry Experience, Geographic Experience and Nationalities, Functional Experience, Stakeholder Experience, Experience with Different Business Scales and Stages of Business Life Cycles, Age, Tenure on the Board, Ethnicity and Gender. It also discusses ways to promote and manage diversity.