TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Global Network of Director Institutes
(GNDI) has today released their joint policy perspective, setting out
the significant and positive impact a diverse board can have on
business outcomes and arguing that mandatory quotas is not the most
effective way to improve board diversity.
At the release of the GNDI policy paper, Chair of GNDI and CEO of the
Australian Institute of Company Directors, John Colvin, said that the
paper highlights that improvements to board diversity should be driven
by recognition of the benefits of diversity.
"Board diversity is an important governance issue but is a means to an
end, not an end in itself," said John Colvin.
"If all individual directors on a board view issues in a similar way,
there is a risk that the board will approach issues too narrowly,
suffer from "group think" or fail to adequately consider and evaluate
alternative ideas or options in relation to the organisation."
The paper emphasises that diversity encompasses, but is not limited to,
gender, ethnicity/race, nationality, religious beliefs, cultural or
socio-economic background, and age.
It reflects a clear view from the director institutes of the GNDI that
because systems of organisational governance vary significantly around
the world, the approach that each organisation takes to diversity will
vary; all organisations are different and there is no "one size fits
Initiatives and practices which may be employed by organisations to
increase the diversity of their boards could include establishing
diversity policies and objectives, improving transparency in board
selection and appointment processes, and implementing board evaluation
processes that assess the board's performance and the potential
contribution of diversity to board effectiveness.
"The GNDI Policy Paper echoes what our membership has been telling us
for several years that diversity is an important governance and
organisational issue. It needs to be adopted and implemented from the
board-level down to be truly effective," said Stan Magidson, Deputy
Chairman of GNDI and President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate
In December 2011, the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) issued a
position paper on Diversity in the Boardroom which called for boards to
adopt formal diversity policies. The position paper was issued
following a year-long consultative process with its membership.
"In speaking with our membership across the country an overwhelming
majority are strongly opposed to government-imposed quotas. Only 4 per
cent favoured such measures," Mr. Magidson said.
The ICD is a strong supporter of diversity and, in particular, the
enhanced participation of women in the boardroom. A partner of Women On
Board (WOB), the ICD sponsors one diverse candidate each year in the
WOB Mentorship Program, which prepares mentees to serve on boards and
expand their board network.
In addition, the ICD offers Diversity Scholarships for its flagship
Directors Education Program (DEP), jointly developed by Rotman and the
ICD. Launched in 2011, the scholarships are granted to 11 qualified
candidates from diverse backgrounds with a financial need allowing them
an opportunity to participate in the DEP.
The Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) was founded in 2012. It
brings together member-based director associations from around the
world with the aim of furthering good corporate governance. It is an
international network among nine leading membership organisations for
corporate directors in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Malaysia, New
Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The
following membership organisations are members of GNDI and collectively
represent more than 100,000 corporate directors worldwide:
Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD)
Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC) in Brazil
European Confederation of Directors Associations (ecoDa)
Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) in Canada
Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoDNZ)
Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA)
Institute of Directors (IoD) in the United Kingdom
Malaysian Alliance of Corporate Directors (MACD), and
National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in the United States.
Read the GNDI policy perspective paper at www.gndi.org/papers
About the ICD
The Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) is a not-for-profit,
member-based association representing Canadian directors and boards
across the for-profit, not-for-profit, and government sectors. The ICD
has more than 6,500 members across a network of 11 chapters. We foster
the sharing of knowledge and wisdom through education, professional
development programs and services, and thought leadership and advocacy
to achieve the highest standard of directorship. For more information,
please visit: www.icd.ca.
SOURCE: Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD)
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