Community Business has been leading the debate on board diversity since 2009 when we first produced research in partnership with the Cranfield School of Management in the UK and Standard Chartered Bank.
Often the discussion of boardroom diversity is centred around gender and the under-representation of women on corporate boards. This is indeed a real issue that needs addressing in Hong Kong and elsewhere, and we have been spearheading the dialogue around women on boards since 2009. However, it is our firm belief that to be successful in today’s complex global business environment, boards need to be multi-skilled and embrace a true diversity of perspectives. Boardroom diversity needs to go beyond gender and take into account other factors such as age, culture, as well as skills, experience and thinking style; namely, diversity in its broadest sense.
As our annual research shows, when it comes to the representation of women on boards, Hong Kong is lagging behind many markets globally, Whilst there have been a number of proactive initiatives in recent years, including the launch of the 30% Club in Hong Kong, progress continues to be painfully slow. It is clear much more needs to be done to raise awareness and to change attitudes, mindsets and behaviours. We at Community Business focus on this important subject by conducting research, stimulating dialogue with key stakeholders, advocating for change and partnering with other local organisations to inspire meaningful action.