How do you ensure a diverse board?

All board members must be fully committed to the concept of a diverse and representative board. If necessary this may need work on changing the culture of the organisation and its board, in which case a game plan needs to be drawn up and the item kept on board agendas. Consideration should be given to the practices of the board: time and place of meetings, whether younger members require shorter terms of office, guidance on claiming out-of-pocket expenses etc. Retention of new trustees is as important as recruitment: it is essential that any training needs are met and the new experience and knowledge they bring are fully used.

Diversity includes the nine protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation) as well as different backgrounds and career paths. Making all wording in documents (including constitutions) gender neutral will help demonstrate sex equality and transgender inclusion too.

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