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.
President, Executive Consulting Inc.
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.
Array Technologies Inc., ITT Inc.
Hon. Barbara Hackman Franklin
Barbara Franklin Enterprises
Chair, Corporate Women Directors International; President, GlobeWomen Inc.; and President, Global Summit of Women
Institute of Directors
The Directors’ Council; United Airlines Holdings Inc., UnitedHealth Group
John F. Olson
Founding Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
KPMG US LLP
Former Independent Director, Heidrick & Struggles
Cofounder and Partner, Marlow’s Tavern Co.
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
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.