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May 22, 2019 6:30 AM ET

Deloitte Board Practices Report: 94 Percent of Boards Surveyed Aim to Increase Diversity; Industry-Specific Experience Tops Board Recruitment Priorities

iCrowd Newswire - May 22, 2019

The “Board Practices Report” issued by Deloitte’s Center for Board Effectiveness and the Society for Corporate Governance,  reveals emerging governance initiatives across boardrooms that are having a significant impact in key areas such as culture, talent, strategy, risk, technology and innovation.

“In our 11th report, it is clear there is an increased recognition of the benefits of a diverse board. More than ever, boards are acting to refresh their composition with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives,” said Deb DeHaas, vice chairman and national managing partner, Center for Board Effectiveness, Deloitte. “The results of this effort will help boards develop new approaches to address both their fiduciary responsibilities and other strategic risks and opportunities.”

In January, Deloitte’s Center for Board Effectiveness released the latest “Missing Pieces Report” — a multiyear study published by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD), in collaboration with Deloitte — that showed the number of Fortune 500 companies with greater than 40 percent diversity has more than doubled since 2012. As a sign of future progress, 94 percent of 2018 respondents of the Board Practices Report said their boards are looking to increase diversity. The majority of 2018 respondents (61 percent) said their boards are looking to increase gender diversity —exceeding race and ethnicity (48 percent) and professional skills or experience (43 percent). Boards seeking to increase their diversity most commonly look to referrals from current directors (77 percent), suggesting that networking is still key to board succession, though search firms came in a close second (73 percent).

Industry-specific experience topped the list of board recruitment priorities. Other sought-after professional experiences included: business leadership; accounting; digital or technology strategy (e.g., artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and social media); cyber; and information technology (e.g., infrastructure, operations). While other types of professional experience, such as marketing and HR, may be underrepresented on boards (and could contribute to diversity), they do not seem to be gaining traction as standalone recruitment priorities.

Additional key findings include:

Results from the “Board Practices Report” are based on the responses from 102 public companies represented in the membership of the Society for Corporate Governance. To download the 11th edition of the Board Practices Report, and for more information on the methodology, please visit http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/center-for-board-effectiveness/articles/us-board-practices-report.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 5,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today’s marketplace to make an impact that matters — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. 

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