Diversity and Inclusion – The Board Perspective!
CS Divya Momaya
24 Feb 2021
“Diversity is about headcount. Inclusion is about making those heads count.” - By Britta WilsonDiversity & Inclusion (D&I) are integral parts of organizational culture and are considered to be one of the best ways’ companies could bring purpose and values to lives. Organizations with diverse voices are able to innovate holistic solutions to business and social challenges, encourage creative thinking, build positive mindset and succeed engagement with all its stakeholders. It is observed by the way of research that Diversity & Inclusion is one of the fundamental differentiators for driving business in an innovative and strategic manner. This approach usually supports organizational growth and encourages the ecosystem to develop innovative thinking towards the regular culture.As business environment grows more complex, interconnected and diverse, it is important for an organization to think about D&I as a concept in a more holistic manner. The efforts are required to be put in to introduce D&I not only basis gender but also covering aspects related to organizational culture, religious & political beliefs, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic backgrounds, outlook towards specially abled people and more. For organizations, in order to create a real value for its stakeholders, it is imperative that equal opportunities are given to each and every person in the organization irrespective of backgrounds, abilities, beliefs etc. More specifically, if we talk about having an optimal mix of skills, expertise and experience at the Board level, it could be ensured that Board as a whole is well equipped to drive the business of the Company in a strategic manner. Of course, the traditional boardroom of fairly homogeneous group of individuals were equipped to strategize and take effective decisions, yet an exposure to a wider range of perspectives to facilitate robust discussions in the boardroom is still not finding its way. Even as of now companies are busy moving the traditional way. It is time when Boards broaden their definition of ‘board-ready talent’ and start making a diverse pool of individuals not only by having people from C-suits but also from backgrounds like Academics, Entrepreneurs, Government Servants, Professionals representing different fields and more. This practice would help businesses bring an interesting and more diversified plus insightful insights on topics discussed in boardrooms.In the current scenario when entire India and the world are believing capabilities built by start-ups, enthusiasm of millennials introducing new and innovative business practices, there is an overall shift that could be witnessed in the business processes and the way people have now started operating. Especially in the post pandemic era when the entire top and senior management have gained an entrepreneurial mindset of tackling business and making it sustainable, how long would it take for a mindset transformation in order to introduce as well as practices concepts like D&I. Many argue that Independent non-executive directors bring a balanced perspective in the Boardroom yet, it is now time for companies to assess not only the designation of an independent director mandated by law but also determine if the director is really independent in his thinking and character as well. This process is extremely important to give diversification a better shape rather than just completing formalities for the sake of it. In order to assess these factors, boards may include taking into account relationship of individuals with their close family ties, with relevant stakeholders of the Company, their ethical background, their approach towards sensitive topics like gender equality, sexual harassment, anti-bribery anti-corruption, whistle blowing and more. These determining factors would help companies to select right people for the right board positions and make a right mix of talent at the top level setting an example for the entire workforce by constructively introducing how diversity and inclusion can make a positive difference in the entire working operations and decision-making abilities of a Company.
MentorMyBoard is about Creating, Enabling and Empowering Directors to make sustainable and dynamic boards considering the diverse portfolio and demands of an organization. At MMB, we are offering a platform that prepares Directors towards ethical leadership, robust governance practices, borderless compliance, and insights that in turn make competitive boards potentially prevalent.
Director's roles and responsibilities are also consistently demanding and changing drastically in the National and International landscape. The demand for a dynamic, visionary Directors and futuristic Boards is emerging substantially due to increased responsibilities imposed under Companies Act 2013.In such a scenario Director should engage in -Self-Assessment of Boardroom mechanicsEvaluating hard-wired practices and reformingUnderstanding changing Board dynamics and staying updated.Abiding by prescribed industry norms and critical responsibilities.Building futuristic boards and Success PlanningSetting agile Board culturesBuilding Board diversity.
We have been guiding diverse boards over a decade now.We have a ready pool of trained Directors, Independent Directors, Women Directors to empower corporate boards.We emphasize practicality in facing challenges, handling risks, and planning strategies.We infuse fresh thinking and unexplored perspectives through our mentoring.We deliver visionary Directors and ethical Boards.We engage in a holistic development experience to Directors, ensuring a one-point solution to all their professional needs.We are offering a unique and one of its kind platforms in India for Director Networking.We handhold Directors in their Boardroom journeys.We have a pool of 1000 plus versatile Directors.We bring a dedicated panel of 150 plus expert Mentors.Our Mentoring programs enhance board participation that improves and quickens strategic and policy decision making, resulting in the ultimate growth of the Organization.