Board leadership in diversity is an essential precondition to organization-wide diversity change. Most organizations, however, forego this important opportunity as they reduce diversity leadership to mere metrics. This session will look at some key components for making board diversity leadership happen in meaningful ways that go beyond the conventional norms of representation and compliance measures. First, there is the recognition that leadership in diversity must start at the top to be fully effective. Once that is in place, leaders must participate in their personal development by continuously cultivating their own cultural competency. In order to be aligned with diversity values, leaders need to be deliberate in setting a personal example and as a group. Not only must leaders demonstrate diversity but they are charged with challenging systemic barriers on an ongoing basis. Above all, leaders can facilitate the process of the self-organizing system by paradoxically taking themselves out of focus as the designated leaders of the organization.
Five Good Ideas
- Leadership starts at the top
- Leaders contribute to their own personal development
- Taking a stand
- Challenging systemic barriers
- Creating self-organizing systems
Five Good Resources
- Getting to Maybe, by Westley, Zimmerman & Patton, 2007
- Creating the Multicultural Organization: A Strategy for Capturing the Power of Diversity, by Taylor Cox Jr., 2001
- Cultural Diversity in Organizations: Theory, Research & Practice, by Taylor Cox Jr., 1993
- YMCA Cultural Competence Resource Guide, by Tina Rasmussen Ph.D.
- Diversity in Governance – A toolkit for Inclusion for Non-Profit Boards