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Is Your Board Inclusive — or Just Diverse?


Harvard Business Review


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Peterson R S;Gardner H K


Publication Year



In recent years, many boards have made substantial progress when it comes to increasing diversity. But the authors’ research suggests that simply increasing representation of women or ethnic minorities isn’t necessarily enough to achieve true inclusion in the boardroom. Through an analysis of director diversity and financial performance of the FTSE 350 as well as a series of in-depth interviews with global board members, the authors identify common benefits and challenges associated with moving beyond representation on the board. They then offer several research-backed strategies to help boards become not just diverse but truly inclusive, including adopting an intersectional approach, challenging assumptions around status and experience, and proactively investing in board culture.

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