Boardroom Diversity: Why it Matters
Lawrence J. Trautman
American University; George Washington University; Oklahoma City University - School of Law
September 16, 2012
What exactly is board diversity and why does it matter? How does diversity fit in an attempt to build the best board for an organization? What attributes and skills are required by law and what mix of experiences and talents provide the best corporate governance? Even though most companies say they are looking for diversity, why has there been such little progress? Are required director attributes, which are a must for all boards, consistent with future diversity gains and aligned with achieving high performance and optimal board composition? How might women and people of color best cultivate the skills necessary to make themselves attractive and productive board directors?
My goal in this paper is to provide answers to these questions, and to discuss how a nominating committee and board can define their needs, explore their options, and provoke radical thinking about how corporate governance may be improved by reexamining fundamental assumptions about diversity. Hopefully, constructive thinking about diversity and board composition, and a productive dialogue among all in the corporate governance community will result.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 94
Keywords: Board Diversity, Corporate Boards, Corporate Directors, Corporate Governance, Corporate Law, Directors, Director Selection, Director Recruitment, Discrimination, Diversity, Gender, Gender Diversity, Glass Ceiling, Minorities, Minority Directors, People of Color, Race, Racial Diversity, Sex, Women
JEL Classification: D63, D70, D71, G30, G34, J16, J44, J70, K22, K40, K49, L20, M10, M14, M40, M50working papers series
Date posted: April 30, 2012 ; Last revised: September 26, 2012
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