Board Diversity has become an increasingly important issue due to significant societal changes and worldwide activism. Many companies have responded to this by increasing the number female and minority directors. Some companies go beyond race and gender diversity to ensure cognitive diversity.

A diverse board is more effective than a homogeneous one. Boards with different backgrounds and expertise can tackle complex problems in a unique method and be free of the groupthink that impedes thinking.

This is one reason why many activists and investors are keen to see more cognitively diverse boards. A board with a variety of perspectives, experiences and viewpoints will allow the company to respond quicker to significant changes in society, for example the rapid expansion of ESG issues.

Diverse boards are more likely to have cognitively diverse boards. This helps them identify problems more quickly and effectively. It is easier to tackle these issues when a broad range of perspectives are offered and when employees confront each other and ask hard questions.

A diverse board is not a panacea. Boards have to be able collaborate despite their differences. This requires an executive who is able to facilitate productive discussions and foster collaboration among people with different worldviews and attitudes. Otherwise it could result in internal conflict and a lack in productivity.

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