The impact of the business sector on communities is undeniable. The form of that impact is determined by corporate leadership, namely Boards of Directors.
These decision-makers have a responsibility to uphold the four core principles of corporate governance and to be guided by data about how best to do that. Diversity in corporate leadership supports adherence to the core principles and all available data shows that diversity in governance benefits business at every level.
While it might be assumed that Boards of Directors are an unchanging monolith of white men in their 60s who are tightly networked, that reality is undergoing major changes right now. Companies actively seek board members with a wider range of expertise and experience.
The Four Core Principles
Consider the four core principles and how your unique experience and perspective can help support the enactment of them if you were to join a Board of Directors (as a valued and paid member).
The four core principles of corporate governance are accountability, transparency, fairness, and responsibility. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Running a business involves risk. Each decision has an impact on employees, consumers, stockholders, and the wider community. A quality Board of Directors will sustain trust at every level by helping a business remain accountable for each action. Creating accountability might include regular reviews, adjustments, policy updates, and internal or external communication.
Transparency is a must, both legally and ethically. A corporation should be honest, accurate, and open about finances, key decisions, politics, and environmental impact. This can be done through regular reports or external audits facilitated by the Board of Directors. Information should be shared with stockholders and stakeholders.
Everyone involved in a company must be treated fairly. Corruption, discrimination, and favoritism put companies at risk of losing the trust of consumers, suppliers, stockholders, and the wider community. In short, it is bad for business.
To promote fairness, a Board of Directors should be diverse, support inclusion, consider the interests of all parties, and create clear guidelines around compensation, promotions, and overall company policies.
Members of any Board of Directors hold a great responsibility. When making decisions, directors should be driven by data, experts, and shareholder input – not self-interest. Each director should enjoy a balance of voice so that they may bring their unique perspective in service to the best interests of the company, its constituents, and the community.
As you can see, each of these core principles is best supported by a more diverse Board of Directors. Corporate governance is a powerful way to positively impact your community, and create a legacy to be proud of.
Join a Board of Directors
If you believe in the four principles, could imagine yourself actively supporting them in the context of corporate leadership, and are seeking a way to broaden your reach, there is a Board of Directors awaiting your service, and ready to compensate you for your commitment.