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Welcome to Innovate Africa With Dotun Adeoye

Infinite, sustainable growth ideas and examples for strategic thinking executives every Sunday

THE BLOG

Innovate Africa With Dotun Adeoye Every Sunday

Infinite, sustainable growth ideas and examples for strategic thinking executives every Sunday

Board 1 1

A Diverse Board is Crucial To A Sustainable Business Growth Strategy

Diversity is a hot topic in many organisations, but why? The answer is that diversity makes good business sense and leads to more innovation, better problem-solving, higher staff morale, and more profits. That’s true for individuals; it holds for groups of people.

To many, diversity is about having someone who looks different in the workplace. The reality is that today, this goes beyond looks. It involves other areas that I will be covering later in this article.

A diverse board’s perspectives, opinions, and viewpoints ensure that the company will innovate and grow more quickly than its competitors.

Race and Ethnicity.

When people talk about race, they are often referring to ethnicity. The United Nation’s definition of race and ethnicity is all-embracing and positive. The reality is far from this in terms of how most groups relate to each other. .  The US Census Bureau defines ethnicity as “a person’s ethnic origin or descent, roots and heritage including nationality, citizenship, lineage and place of birth.” On the other hand, the race is a social construct that refers to categories created by people based on skin colour and facial features.

In its simplest form, increasing diversity at your company means having more workers from different backgrounds in various organisational positions (i.e., more than just one person). This can be achieved with a few simple steps:

  • Ensure your recruitment process is inclusive and encourages employees from diverse backgrounds who are qualified for open positions.
  • Expand the pool of candidates you consider for each open position by identifying external groups that may offer an expanded range of talent—like women-owned businesses or minority-focused organisations–and then actively reaching out to these groups when you’re looking for candidates.

Age and Generation.

Age and generation mix can help a board make better decisions by understanding how to reach different audiences. For example, millennials are more likely to trust online recommendations from their peers, so having a digital marketing expert on the board is necessary for any company that wants to be successful in this area. The digital marketing expert can also teach other board members about how technology changes over time and what that means for different industries finally because all generations interact with each other differently and have different expectations about what it means to be professional—having someone who grew up in an entirely different world than everyone else can help everyone understand one another better and remain relevant in today’s society.

Gender and Gender Identity.

Gender diversity is one of the most critical areas for businesses to focus on when building a sustainable growth strategy. Gender and gender identity are essential considerations in understanding how work gets done, how products are developed and sold, and who can play an active role in the process.

Despite these facts, a meagre percentage of chief executives at listed companies globally are female—and even fewer occupy board seats. As a result, many companies lack the talent to make strategic decisions supporting long-term success.

Research shows that gender diversity in the workplace is associated with increased profitability and productivity: The financial performance of companies with strong female representation on their executive teams correlates directly with revenue growth. In addition to these monetary benefits, having a diverse workforce has been shown to reduce turnover rates by as much as 50% because workers feel better supported at work (KPMG).

Sexual Orientation.

If you think about it, sexual orientation is a crucial aspect of diversity. The awareness about this is getting louder. It can impact how an employee experiences the world.

For example, an LGBTQ person may have faced discrimination in the past (and possibly still does), so he or she might be more sensitive to others’ feelings and needs. This sensitivity would likely translate into being an excellent listener—a skill every manager should value highly! Similarly, if you have someone on your team who identifies as bisexual or pansexual (or another non-binary identity), they may feel excluded from their community because of their gender identity or sexuality; when this happens at work and feels like bullying by other employees against them personally then they may feel even more isolated than expected so make sure everyone gets along well together!

Religious and Spiritual Beliefs.

It’s essential to consider the religious and spiritual beliefs of your employees, supply chain, customers, and others. If you’re a business selling products or services to people worldwide, some of them will likely be different from you.

Suppose you need to understand their beliefs and how they relate to their purchasing decisions (and, therefore, how those decisions affect your business). In that case, your strategy may be less effective than it could be. Again, a diverse board can help with this because it will often include people from different religions or no religion, providing valuable insight into how faith impacts entrepreneurship.

Disability.

I believe that people with disabilities should be included in corporate boardrooms for many reasons. First and foremost, fewer than 1 percent of board members have a disability. We know this is because of the stigma associated with disability and that people with disabilities are underrepresented on boards.

We also know that people with disabilities can bring valuable perspectives — views that can be leveraged to help corporations flourish by addressing their needs as consumers or employees. Leveraging the viewpoint of a disabled board member will bring a different perspective that is uncommon and will offer an unusual growth opportunity for the company.

Socioeconomic Status and Background.

  • Socioeconomic status. Your organisation’s board of directors should represent the socioeconomic status of your community and your customers, if appropriate. Income, education, occupation, and other factors are essential when identifying this diversity on your board.
  • How do you measure these factors? There are many ways to measure socioeconomic status:

Income: total family income; annual household income; median family income; income as a percent of area median income (AMI); and so forth. Education: percentage with higher education or post-secondary degrees; percentage with graduate degrees or professional training; high school graduation rate for the district where your company is headquartered. Occupation: job titles within upper management levels at large companies in your industry sector relative to national averages for that sector

Board diversity matters to all stakeholders.

Did you know that diverse companies enjoy more financial success and are more innovative and inclusive? Did you also know that various boards have been linked to higher productivity, sales growth, and profit margins?

So why aren’t there more women on boards? Using the USA as a case study, women make up roughly 50 percent of the workforce in the United States. However, only 25 per cent of corporate board seats go to women.

We need to change this by encouraging our friends and colleagues to apply for board opportunities and having them be part of a broad conversation about how we can all contribute to creating an inclusive economy. Supporting organisations working towards having more women on advisory boards of multinational companies.

According to the Parker report,  16% of all FTSE 100 board positions in the United Kingdom are held by minority ethnic directors (164 out of the 1,056 director positions). This is improving; however, when we look at all the other areas, there is still a lot to improve on.

Bottom-Line

Diversity is a hot topic, but it’s also old. Diversity has been shown to enhance the performance of organisations, and it helps ensure that they can adapt and evolve. So while we may have made progress in recent years, there is still much work left to do—especially when it comes to ensuring that women and minorities have equal access to opportunities in business leadership.

Who am I?

I am Dotun Adeoye, a Business Growth Strategist & Author of the 5 Pillars of Business Growth.

I’ve built up my experience via serial entrepreneurship, consulting leadership roles in business growth, business development and product innovation in large companies worldwide in the last 29 years.

Today, I consult with large businesses on how to sustainably grow their businesses, sustain infinite growth, ensure business continuity and achieve a legacy.

Hire Dotun Adeoye to Speak Virtually or In – Person at your company’s event to cover this or other topics. You can also get in touch via +44 203 097 1718 

 

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Innovate Africa

With Dotun Adeoye

Every Sunday

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 Teaching business leaders how to grow their businesses & leave their legacy.