Diversity in the boardroom goes far beyond filling quotas or creating a board that just looks good to the public — diverse boardroom composition is also good for business. This is the contention of many executive coaches and recruiters.

The best boards are often the most diverse boards, contends Mike Myatt, who recently wrote in Forbes that “they can offer a depth and breadth of insight, perspective and experience to CEOs that non-diverse boards simply cannot.”

In a recent conversation with Patricia Lenkov, founder and CEO of Agility Executive Search, Myatt recounts the top 10 reasons why Lenkov says diversity in the boardroom is good for business, which are as follows:

  1. It reflects the real world — something every company should be sensitive to.
  2. Healthy debate can lead to better decisions.
  3. Divergent backgrounds mean tackling the same idea in differing ways.
  4. Great ideas come from disruption of the status quo.
  5. Your clients and customers are diverse.
  6. This can make your company knowledgeable and sensitive to a wider variety of groups.
  7. Counsel from a variety of authorities is sensible.
  8. Setting an example at the top will hopefully have a trickle-down effect within the organization.
  9. Improved reputation and brand.
  10. A variety of backgrounds can make the company more adaptable to its ever-changing environment.

In addition to board diversity, another critical area in the boardroom is the dynamics between general counsel and the C-suite. Directors and general counsel in the Fortune 500, respectively, take a decisively different approach to managing corporate governance issues — and their perspectives and priorities often vary when it comes to the importance of mission-critical business areas.

To get an inside look at boardroom and GC dynamics, and how these two factions can work more collaboratively for the betterment of their respective businesses and careers, InsideCounsel spoke with several Fortune 500 board members and executives.


For more stories about the boardroom, check out InsideCounsel’s coverage below:

Time Associate GC Helen Wan talks about her ‘unvarnished look’ at the legal industry

7 worst practices GCs should avoid

Boardroom dynamics: an insider’s view