Boards are Inspired to Look at Diversity Differently — Nelda J. Connors

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Nelda J. Connors — panelist at Board and Business Diversity: Actionable Ways to be Better Than Before

Nelda J. Connors — Founder & CEO at Pine Grove Holdings LLC, and Public Company Director was recently a panelist at Boards and Business Diversity: Actionable Ways to be Better Than Before. Nelda focused on the topic of how boards are inspired to look at diversity differently.

Watch what Nelda said in the video, or read excerpts below.

“I don’t think most boards are, at least in my experience, consciously thinking to not be diverse, or not to have inclusion on their boards. I think the heightened awareness that there’s a lack of diversity, has in some way incentivized and inspired boards to take a harder look. I think boards do change because they are inspired to look at diversity differently or they’re in crisis mode. In either case, I think the way that they go about it is very similar.

“Often, you hear that boards and non-gov in particular, might go out to the full board and say “who do you know”; that is a common source of how directors are nominated. Who they know, might not be qualified in terms of what the board needs - in terms of experiences and knowledge, or they may not be ready. What I would recommend for most boards, and I know we do this very well on a few of the boards that I sit on, is have an active relationship with recruiters. So even when we’re not in the market looking for a director, we still start to understand who is qualified and could fill a seat if one were to become available.

“The other things that boards are doing more proactively, is that they’re expanding their boards if it’s possible. If there is an automatic cut-off or an age requirement, they might bring aboard a board member earlier than planned.

“The third thing boards could be doing, is to get out there to understand and interview candidates, even before there is a need for another candidate. So in the future when they are in search of a candidate — they are prepared.”

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