Pale, male and stale: what's next for the boardroom?
As boards gradually move towards better balance by gender, what is the next frontier?
Alan Mak, a 30-year-old non-executive director of Havas Worldwide (UK), thinks boards should make it a priority to take on more young directors. He and I have gone head-to-head on the issue in print and we took the debate onto Twitter on Thursday to test the mood.
The UN theme for International Women’s Day on Saturday is: Equality for women is progress for all. One glance at the FT graphic on women in senior management, published on Friday, suggests this progress is now happening on a global scale – but with some perhaps surprising results.
The financial crisis revealed that management and supervision of banks were more than just a numbers game, so it’s distressing to see the European Commission edging towards a limit on the number of directorships bank directors can hold.
I’m all in favour of close monitoring – by the board – of whether board members are taking on too much. The job of bank director is too important to entrust to individuals who are already shouldering a big burden elsewhere. But the best way to ensure directors can devote quality time to the job is for the board nominations committee to be absolutely explicit about the amount of work involved. A clue: at large financial institutions, it’s a lot.