New Report Finds That the More Diverse a Board, the Better it Works

The report, "Leadership Diversity in the Non-profit Sector: Baby Steps, Big Strides, and Bold Stances", released on June 7, finds that even in small amounts, leadership diversity contributes meaningfully to the performance of non-profit boards.

Based on three surveys of more than 420 organizations, the report finds that a diverse board contributes to overall board effectiveness by, for example, safeguarding and fulfilling the mission of the organization and enhancing fiduciary oversight. Board diversity also improves stakeholder relationships, increases the organization's responsiveness to the community and their clients, and brings fresh perspectives to decision-making. The more diverse a board, the more likely it is to report these benefits.

Despite the overwhelming advantages of leadership diversity, the research found that visible minorities continue to be underrepresented in non-profit boards in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). While visible minorities make up 40% of the GTA's population, of the 4,254 board positions examined only 15.6% are held by visible minorities.

The report includes a number of recommendations for organizations that wish to strengthen their board, including understanding and communicating the benefits of leadership diversity and aligning diversity efforts to the organization's mission and mandate.

The report is the fifth in a series called DiverseCity Counts that commissions research measuring the levels of diversity in leadership in the GTA. Download the full report at DiversCity Counts.