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Getting new faces into the boardroom

David Levenson of Coaching Futures asks whether we need to think differently about the composition of boards and aim to attract younger board members.

I became a member of ICAEW in 1984 and a CFO for the first time in 1992.  Since then I have spent thousands of hours sitting in board meetings; as an executive director, NED, advisor and trainer.  I have worked on and with corporate, public sector and not-for-profit boards and I sit on two boards today. 

I have seen some of the best and, occasionally, worst cases of corporate governance practice in boardrooms across England.  The worst examples I have witnessed include casual (and even overt) sexism and racism which is invariably excused as “banter”, and the unconscious or perhaps unthinking acts of bias which always seem to result in the same people speaking while others are ignored.