At a conference last week, I met the Board Chair of a nonprofit organization dedicated to children diagnosed with chronic medical illnesses.
During our chat, she asked: "Can our nonprofit avail of B3’s free board matching services to recruit diverse board members?" “Certainly," I responded, "and what type of diversity is your board looking for?”
"All types of diversity, but especially age diversity” she admitted. “Can you imagine that our nonprofit serves children? And yet, none of our board members is below 60 years old!”
And there’s the rub. Hers is a comment we hear many times.
Talk about taking board diversity to a whole new level.
Imagine appointing an artificial intelligence (AI) machine to your organization's board of directors. Seems like an episode from Netflix’s Black Mirror, right? Yes. Except that it’s not.
According to Dmitry Kaminskiy, the firm’s managing partner, Vital saved his firm from going bankrupt. The AI machine “uncovered trends not immediately obvious to humans” and "helped the board make more logical decisions”.
Is this an isolated instance of a company capitalizing on the AI hype?
Many large corporations already provide their employees with diversity training. After all, they know that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a source of competitive advantage. According to McKinsey, companies with strong D&I cultures perform better than their competitors. They're better in attracting top talent. Better in customer understanding. Better in employee engagement and retention.
But is diversity training enough to change employee behaviour?
In these troubled times, businesses continue to be a shining force for good.
Many large companies are tackling the world's big, hairy and audacious social and economic development goals. These global goals are outlined in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They include ending extreme poverty, protecting our planet and eliminating gender inequality.
The private sector's active participation is crucial to …
What does an effective leader look like in your mind? Whether you are male or female, it is likely that you saw a male person in your mind’s eye.
Tina Kiefer, a UK professor, discovered this while conducting a business executives workshop. As the New York Times reported, Kiefer realized that “both men and women almost always draw men” when asked to draw an effective leader. The drawings of men showed them in different shapes, sizes and moods. But they were still undeniably men.
We’re honoured to partner with CanadaHelps in supporting corporate social responsibility and strengthening nonprofit board leadership throughout Canada. Here’s our blog post that was originally published in the CanadaHelps newsletter.
It was iconic, even memorable, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded: “Because it’s 2015!” to the question as to why his new cabinet was half-female. But fast-forward a couple of years later and take a look around …
Many companies have gender parity in middle management. But this gender parity disappears because only a few women move up to senior leadership roles. These companies know that it goes against well-documented evidence that more women in senior leadership roles correlates to better corporate performance.
Men are promoted more often than women - but it's not because women have opted out of the career advancement track for family reasons. Moreover, women ask for promotions and …
Serving on a nonprofit board involves a serious commitment of time and talent. To be successful as a board director, you need to know the principles of nonprofit governance, the role of the board, the responsibilities of board directors and how an effective board operates.
Join us for this one-hour session (including 15 minutes for Q&A), as lawyer Josephine Victoria Yam walks us through the fundamentals on how to succeed as a nonprofit board director.
"Diversity and inclusion has become a CEO-level issue around the world," observed Deloitte in its 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report. "The era of diversity as a 'check the box' initiative owned by HR is over. CEOs must take ownership and drive accountability among leaders at all levels to close the gap between what is said and actual impact".
So what happens when a CEO does not prioritize diversity and inclusion?
Let's take the story of global retailer H&M as an example.
A CEO of a large nonprofit asked: “Can B3 match our nonprofit board with business people who don’t come in thinking that nonprofits are inefficient"?
This is a question that many nonprofit CEOs ask us. Some nonprofit board directors apparently believe their business experiences alone can "fix a nonprofit’s inefficiencies”.
Why? This stems from the erroneous notion that businesses are more efficient than nonprofits.
Trudeau’s ‘Because it’s 2015!’ response to why his new cabinet was half-female was iconic and memorable, even hopeful and encouraging.
So it was deeply disappointing to read the BoardSource 2017 Report released yesterday on its particular findings on nonprofit board diversity. Yes, it’s 2017 and there’s still no diversity in nonprofit boards. After two years since its last national survey, nonprofit boards are still painfully lacking in diversity.
Do you have a Millennial on your nonprofit board? This is one of the first questions we ask the nonprofit boards we work with for board matching and recruitment at B3 Canada. And most often, the answer we receive is a sheepish no.
“Well, we always talk about how urgent it is to engage Millennials by recruiting them as board directors”, explained one grey-haired 63-year old board chair of a large charity, “but none of us in the board is a Millennial so we don’t know how to best reach out to them.”
Last week, B3 Canada and the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) jointly hosted the webinar “Lawyers On Board: What You Need To Know Before Serving on a Non-Profit Board”. I was thrilled to have governance legal experts, Angela Weaver and Patricia McLeod, join me as fellow panelists. We were so pleased to have more than 300 lawyers from across Canada participate in our webinar.
One important question raised during the Q&A was: How do you avoid a conflict of interest when you serve on a nonprofit board?
It is without doubt a very important question. After all, every board director has a fiduciary duty to avoid a conflict of interest…
The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and B3 Canada invite you to an accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) webinar entitled:
Lawyers On Board:
What You Need To Know Before Serving on a Non-Profit Board
Save the date!
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
12:00pm (Eastern) / 9:00 (Pacific)
Serving on a nonprofit board is not only a meaningful way to give back to the community, it is also a powerful way to build valuable leadership experience. This is one of the most compelling reasons why our corporate clients have implemented our B3 Board Matching and Training Programs in their organizations.
While enhancing their Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand strategies, many large corporations and law firms consider our programs as solidly supporting their HR talent strategy to develop their high-potential employees. After all, talent development is a top priority in most leading organizations in Canada. So they view our programs as a strategic way of developing their top talent to drive business growth and gain a competitive advantage.
We are pleased to announce B3 Canada’s new partnership with Women Get On Board (WGOB). WGOB is a leading member-based company based in Toronto that connects, promotes and empowers women to serve on corporate boards.
I was so happy to personally meet Deborah Rosati, WGOB CEO and Co-Founder when I was in Toronto two weeks ago. Deborah is an accomplished corporate director and entrepreneur, having been recognized as one of WXN’s Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women. Deborah and I have excitedly discussed how our organizations share the common goal of advancing gender diversity in boards. Particularly WGOB advances gender diversity in corporate boards while B3 Canada advances the same in nonprofit boards.
In Canada, we have so much to celebrate with the world today, International Women's Day 2017. After all, Canadian women have achieved impressive strides in the political, economic, academic, cultural and social domains of our society.
According to a 2014 Government of Canada report, women: comprise 47% of the Canadian workforce; earn more than 50% of all Canadian university degrees; represented 47% of students in business and management programs at the master’s level in 2010; and received 34.5% of the Masters of Business Administration (MBAs) given in 2011.
So let’s raise our glasses twice or even thrice, right? No, not just yet.
In these increasingly volatile times, I found it quite exhilarating to attend the recent Companies & Causes Canada Conference in Toronto. The super-successful “On Purpose” conference showcased how so many Canadian corporations are steadfastly doing well by doing good. Folks from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors gathered together to explore how purposeful business-nonprofit collaboration can be leveraged to build a better world.
Despite the heavy downpour of rain a few weeks ago in downtown Vancouver, I encountered a lot of sunny smiles and spirits at Vantage Point (VP)’s 2nd Annual BOSS Conference held at the Marriott Hotel. “BOSS” is the acronym for Building Organizational & Sector Sustainability. There was a happy buzz as more than 200 people from the nonprofit, corporate and academic sectors attended to learn, share and network at what is touted as B.C.’s premier nonprofit leadership conference.
Hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled professionals volunteer their time, talents and treasures in nonprofit boards around the country . And rightly so. They want to give back to society. They are passionate about the mission and vision of the nonprofits they serve. They are keen to contribute their strategic expertise to help nonprofits achieve their goals - whether their expertise is law, accounting, IT, human resources, strategic planning, marketing and communications. Through volunteering, they develop a strong sense of personal gratification for doing good.
Have you ever thought of volunteering as a board member of a nonprofit board? Maybe you now have more time to volunteer over and above lending “extra hands” in a soup kitchen twice a year. Or maybe you now want to share your skills and expertise in an impactful way by joining other like-minded professionals providing governance and leadership to a nonprofit.
And why not? Volunteering to serve on a nonprofit board provides you with so many long-term personal and professional benefits.
According to Imagine Canada, there are about 170,000 charities and nonprofits in the country, which makes Canada’s nonprofit sector the second largest in the world. This number translates to some 170,000 nonprofit boards providing governance over this $106 billion sector. As in any sector, while many nonprofit boards are high-performing, many are unfortunately lackluster.
David Simms, in his Harvard Business Review article, articulates the following 3 distinct features of high-performing nonprofit boards:
First is Leadership.
The maxim “Everything rises and falls on leadership” rings ever so true in nonprofit boards...
After a decade from its inception, employer-supported volunteering (ESV) is now widely recognized as a way for Corporate Canada to meaningfully engage in local communities. Volunteer Canada heralds this significant development in its newly-released report, “Leading With Intention: Employer-Supported Volunteering in Canada”.
Through the Corporate Council on Volunteering (CCOV), Volunteer Canada and its corporate partners encourage businesses, regardless of their industry sector or size, to support the volunteer efforts of their employees. They believe that ESV strategically enables businesses, their employees and nonprofits to work together to achieve positive societal impacts in the world.
As a female lawyer who is Asian and a visible minority, I have always been an active advocate for diversity in the workplace. As I practiced law and held leadership positions in various sectors, I often observed that I was either the only woman, the only Asian or even the only visible minority — whether in a boardroom, a business lunch meeting or a workshop. From where I stood, leadership positions in the private, government and nonprofit sectors were more often held by more males than females, more older people than younger ones, more white people than people of colour.