Update of the Diverse Board Moving From Interest to Action

Update of the Diverse Board Moving From Interest to Action

Board Diversity and the Strategy of Inclusion

The year 2020 has seen a renewed focus on conversations around social justice, dismantling systemic racism, and diversity—all of which have forced boards of directors to look inward and to understand the importance of having a diverse board. This year, NACD revisited our 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission report on The Diverse Board. The piece reexamined the acute issue of board diversity and the demand for a diverse board of directors from critical stakeholders and shareholders alike. This report delves into the benefits of having a lead director focused on increasing diversity in the boardroom, creating a succession plan for the board that includes diverse candidates, and ensuring that the board incorporates an inclusive culture to foster diversity.

Select Findings of the Report

  • Preserve, enhance, or consider adding mechanisms to increase director turnover. Boards should use the tools that are already available to increase turnover, such as term limits, age limits, or resignation requirements upon change in job status.

  • Consider expanding the board’s size. A temporary increase in size allows for the inclusion of directors of diverse backgrounds without threatening the seats held by current directors.

  • Give evaluations traction. Evaluations primarily enable a board to gauge performance and make adjustments consistent with the company’s strategic direction. Improving this process only occurs when evaluations are also used as a tool for director accountability.

The 2020 NACD Blue Ribbon Commission

  • Curtis J. Crawford, Ph.D.
    President and CEO, XCEO Inc.; The Chemours Co.

  • Hon. Cari M. Dominguez
    Former Chair, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; ManpowerGroup Inc.; Triple-S Management Corp.

  • William McCracken
    President, Executive Consulting Inc.

  • Kathi Seifert
    County Bancorp Inc., Eli Lilly and Co,
  • Hon. Aida M. Alvarez
    Fastly Inc., HP Inc., K12 Inc., Oportun Financial Corp.
  • Bonnie W. Gwin
    Heidrick & Struggles
  • Mary Pat McCarthy, CPA
    Micron Technology Inc., Palo Alto Networks Inc.
  • Orlando Ashford
    Array Technologies Inc., ITT Inc.
  • Hon. Barbara Hackman Franklin
    Barbara Franklin Enterprises
  • Irene Natividad
    Chair, Corporate Women Directors International; President, GlobeWomen Inc.; and President, Global Summit of Women
  • Roger Barker
    Institute of Directors
  • Michele Hooper
    The Directors’ Council; United Airlines Holdings Inc., UnitedHealth Group
  • John F. Olson
    Founding Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Kenneth Daly
  • Jill Kanin-Lovers
    Former Independent Director, Heidrick & Struggles
  • Richard Rivera
    Cofounder and Partner, Marlow’s Tavern Co.
  • Roy Dunbar
    Johnson Controls International, SiteOne Landscape Supply Inc.
  • Reatha Clark King, Ph.D.
    General Mills Foundation (Ret.); General Mills Inc. (Ret.); Former Independent Director, Exxon Mobil Corp.
  • Michael Rochelle, Lt. Gen., US Army (Ret.)
    MDR Strategies LLC
  • Charles Elson
    University of Delaware, Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance; Encompass Health Corp.

About NACD's Blue Ribbon Commission Reports

Our Blue Ribbon Commission Reports (BRCs) are NACD’s annual signature publications that propose new principles and practices to address the most critical boardroom issues.  Read more about the history and impact of the BRC report series here.