philanthropy.com 12 Jan, 2021 22:45 am

Having Trouble Diversifying Your Board? The Culprit May Be Your Discriminatory Database and Application Forms

Having Trouble Diversifying Your Board? The Culprit May Be Your Discriminatory Database and Application Forms
These tools can stifle diversity from the start, especially if those conducting the board search are making assumption about identity, leadership qualities, and expertise that reflect stereotypical white male notions about achievement.

The answer often lies in the tools used to identify and appoint board members.The problem most likely stems from a lack of diversity on the fundraising staff, which in turn relies on stereotypes about power and privilege as it scours the constituent database for possible board members.Likewise, if same-sex couples aren’t entered into the system as a couple, the organization is likely missing information essential to identifying LGBTQ+ individuals as potential board members.At one institution I worked with, I had to show staff and board members data to prove that the majority of top prospects had degrees in the arts and humanities rather than business, economics, and finance.

” Often, staff and board members searching for prospects won’t even look outside the school of business, where most prospects — at least those who are over 45 years of age — are white men.Of course, finding truly diverse board members requires considering more than a candidate’s educational and employment background and community involvement.

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