Diversity valued by non-profit boards

An inaugural study, by the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership and the Charities Unit on non-profit board leadership indicates that more women are represented on the boards of charities, compared with for-profit boards (More can be done for gender diversity at work: Grace Fu; March 5).

Women sitting on the boards of these charities make up about 31 per cent, with 13 per cent of the charities having no female representation.

While the value of diversity in boards as part of good governance is well-known in the for-profit sector, not much emphasis has been given to ensure that the non-profit boards reflect the same.

With societal issues becoming more interrelated and complex, there is a need to raise or strengthen the leadership standard of the non-profit boards for greater accountability to donors, volunteers, beneficiaries and their communities.

Having a more gender-equal board mix is one way to ensure that a broader range of perspectives and experiences are included in making key decisions.

Winifred Loh (Ms)
Director for Centre for Non-Profit Leadership

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2017, with the headline 'Diversity valued by non-profit boards'. Print Edition | Subscribe