The North American workplace is becoming extremely diverse, but that is not reflected in all areas of the organizations. For instance, people of certain ethnic background are still not fairly represented in the boardroom where important decisions are made and executed.
The Urban Institute’s Francie Ostrowerf conducted a survey of non-profit governance in the United States that found 86 percent of the members were Caucasian (non-Latino) and 7 percent are African American and only 3.5 percent are Latino.
A similar survey conducted in Canada in 2008 revealed that the majority of the members ranged in the age of 30 to 60 years old and 44 percent of them were women. The organizations indicated that at least one person on the board was of disability. And 22.4 percent were reported to be openly gay, lesbian or bisexual. However, only 13 per cent of them were from visible minorities.
Although the stakeholders are all in favour of a better representative of diversity, but not enough is being done to address the problem. Studies have clearly indicated that diverse board members draw a parallel with greater productivity and generate better ideas.
Stakeholders in all organizations need to keep in mind productivity and profits are the bottom line. And if diversity can deliver that then action should be taken.