A board that is diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, social background and ableness provides an opportunity to widen the influence of the board and change perspectives; diversity must be seen as a strength. All arts organisations and museums are beginning to programme more diverse work; ever stronger attempts are being made to widen the audiences to whom they are reaching out. It is essential that these factors are reflected at board level together with representation of the public the organisation serves.
The 2016/17 Strategic Review recognised the challenges in achieving a properly diverse board: larger-scale organisations might achieve gender and cultural diversity but all levels of organisations still struggle with age, disability and socio-economic diversity.
Some organisations working with young people have set up youth advisory committees from which they recruit two or more young people to the main board. The only difference between them and other board members is that they prefer a shorter term of office to accommodate the relative uncertainty about their future movements.
Read this conversation with Baroness McIntosh (acting chair) and Dave Gamble (young trustee) of the Roundhouse.