I know of an organization that consistently asks why they don’t have more women participate in their events. Someone suggested providing child care. The idea was rejected by the (mostly male) board of directors because “why would that make a difference?”
An organization’s board of directors plays a huge role in setting the direction of the organization. As a result, the board also sets the social direction and therefore commitments of the organization. Arayakarnkul, Chatjutharmard, and Treepongkaruna (2022) asked if the proportion of women on a board impacted the organization’s commitment to human rights, product responsibility, and to the workforce and their community. The answer: it does. More women means higher commitment.
Forming a more inclusive and diverse board of directors is the first step to creating a positive social impact. A commitment to diversifying the board is an action. An action that not only starts an organization thinking about its social responsibility, but that can then shape social responsibility in the future. Diversity, the authors have shown, contributes to greater social commitment. And the world needs that social commitment if we are going to achieve sustainability.