Diverse Representation in Decision-Making Bodies

Image by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Effort: ⚒⚒


Timeframe: ⏲⏲

Participants: Members of Committees, Executive Board & Board of Directors


The representation of so-called “social minorities” can be promoted by specifically adapting the selection process when filling key positions. A fundamental prerequisite for this is the openness of established decision-makers to new perspectives and approaches. Particularly, board members focusing on innovation processes (e.g., digitalization) should pay attention to a balanced ratio of different groups of people within their area of responsibility. The critical threshold for a diversity group not to be considered a minority within the body is around 30%.


Even in organizations with a diverse overall workforce, an apparent “glass-ceiling effect” can frequently be observed. Important committees and decision-making bodies, such as the executive board and board of directors, often form homogenous groups regarding social and cultural characteristics. Intentionally diverse recruitment for influential positions may avoid the negative consequences of a group dynamic in homogeneous groups (e.g., “groupthink”). Decisions may take a little longer in the beginning. However, diversely composed decision-making bodies are more likely to make more reasonable long-term decisions and react quickly to changes and new requirements.

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