Diversity among financial services boards and executive committees is on the rise. And the benefits are clear. Different perspectives promote smarter decisions and advocate for a better customer experience by reaching demographically diverse markets. While a global priority for many companies, women and minorities remain under-represented at the top and there is room for improvement.
At NICSA’s recent General Membership Meeting, we heard from a panel of independent directors on the many issues facing boards today. Among them, corporate governance. As financial institutions face increased scrutiny from regulators and shareholders, the topic of board composition has gained traction. Today’s boards are highly vested in drawing upon a diverse set of competencies in order to stimulate new ideas and support continuous learning. Arguably, there has been a meaningful shift toward attracting a more diverse assembly of professionals to director positions. The use of executive search firms has aided in this effort. Gone are the days of “friends and favors” as recruiters are now successfully wooing functional leaders from diverse backgrounds.
Gender balance plays an essential role in the diversity discussion. Many financial institutions have initiated recruitment and networking programs targeted at women, and the industry has made significant strides in progressing toward equal opportunity. NICSA’s members sat down with several executives at the GMM to hear their perspectives on important issues such as the evolution of work/life balance, cognitive diversity, and factors that contributed to their leadership path. While we are moving forward, a more profound cultural change may be required for the retention and advancement of women in our industry.
The Millennial Challenge
A more subtle nuance to Diversity & Inclusion is the issue of how the financial industry is addressing millennials—both as employees and as customers. There’s no doubt that millennials learn differently, are motivated differently, and expect certain technological standards when accessing information and services. Clearly, to succeed long term, financial services companies must address the technology and the psychology of how they conduct business with younger staffers and clients.
Don’t Miss NICSA’s Upcoming D&I Event
Register now for a robust panel discussion on October 26 as we explore the business case for Diversity & Inclusion, and discuss best practices and lessons learned from companies building D&I within their organizations. Gain your industry advantage!
NICSA Webinar: Diversity, Inclusion & Innovation in Financial Services
October 26, 2016 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
Registration and more information…
Learn. Discuss. Develop.
Gain Your Industry Advantage.