This is how to move visible minorities onto corporate boards
One of the first reasons often given to explain why the diversity among corporate directors does not match the composition of the Canadian population is that there is a shortage of qualified candidates.
To combat this view, the Canadian Board Diversity Council began compiling an annual list in 2012 of 50 diverse candidates who might not otherwise be on the radar of board recruiters.
By 2016, the CBDC says, its Diversity 50 list had led to 29 appointments to the boards of Fortune 500 and FP500 companies.
This week, the latest list was rolled out, and with a notable change: Nearly 30 per cent of the board candidates are visible minorities, up from 12 per cent in 2016. That is notable because such lists tend to focus on women as the key demographic targeted in the push for greater board diversity.
Only 4.3 per cent of directors currently on Canadian boards self-identify as a visible minority, according to an annual report card released in December by PhaseNyne, parent company of the Canadian Board Diversity Council.
“Study after study has shown that diversity increases a company’s bottom line and leads to better decision making,” said Sherri Stevens, chief executive of PhaseNyne.
“By giving corporate boards the tools they need to locate these successful individuals, organizations can improve their performance for the benefit of their customers, employers, shareholders and, in the process, for Canada as a whole.”
PhaseNyne says 24 participating executives from corporate Canada, including chief executives, endorsed the process behind the selections for the Diversity 50 list. The latest list contains six men, and two individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ community.