According to Jim Collins in his book Good to Great he says you should have the right people on the bus, then worry about the right seats on the bus.
If you don’t have women on your board then you have an empty seat on your bus and you are missing a trick.
According to Fiona Hathorn Managing Director of Women on Boards UK:
“…But why is diversity important for business? Because diversity makes us smarter, improves margins and increases a country’s GDP as business grows faster. This is not just wishful thinking: it is the conclusion drawn from decades of research from organisational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers.”
She continues by saying that men do not intentionally keep women outside the boardroom door instead they are ignorant of the role that they play and they do not see themselves as responsible to change the status quo. And they are, men need to insist on women on the team and welcome them to the table.
Of course women is also responsible and they have to shed the skin imposed by established biases and beliefs and take their position in the boardroom.
Especially in a country such as South Africa with its rainbow nation we need to not only drive women on boards but allow the different sub-cultures and races within the female gender on board. Leadership needs to have different viewpoints and provide input from different perspectives as it is a fact – if companies do not disrupt, innovate and continually leapfrog competitors, it will stagnate.
By: Ronelle Kleyn
Director, Chartered Secretary, Attorney, Urban Farmer and Mom