Chairman & CEO quote: “Of course my Board of Directors is diverse”
During a recent CEO panel discussion on strategic planning, the Center was able to probe one of the participating CEOs on human and technical diversity on his Board of Directors. The results are jarring.
First, in spite of the publicity around adding diversity to boards, this is what we found. There were no women, no Hispanics, no Asians and finally no African-Americans on an all male board. Of equal concern was a lack of technical diversity: there were no technology, digital, information, cyber security, audit or country risk experts among the Board Members.
The question was presented to the Chairman of the Board: was he satisfied with the makeup of the Board? His answer was “All things considered, yes.” Asked the average age of the Board Members, he replied, “Around 74.” He did that with a straight face.
Further questions regarding the technical expertise of the Board’s various committees found no mention of a Cyber Security Committee. When probed further, the CEO’s answer was, “That is something that’s on our next meeting’s agenda.” Red flag, red flag!
Indeed, after careful study of the backgrounds of this Company’s individual Board Members, you could conclude that they were recruited from the “CEO’s Country Club”.
It is common knowledge that the more human and technical diversity on a Board, the greater chance of avoiding ‘group think’ and ‘getting along by going along.’
Keep thinking about getting a seat at the table. Corporate Boards need your expertise.
Walt Sarkees CBA
Note: Stay tuned for further discussion of Cyber Security and its importance not only for the nation’s security but also for the security of every corporate entity.