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Boardroom Diversity and the role of Female Leaders

Boardroom Diversity and the role of Female Leaders

Insights from BSI’s Future Learning Podcast

In our sixth video episode, we delve into the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within corporate boards and executive teams. Seasoned board member, Kala Philip shares her experiences and the positive changes she has contributed to in boardroom dynamics.

If you’re interested in understanding how board diversity impacts executive decision making, this episode is for you.

If you are just joining us, feel free to check out the first video.

The Current State of Boardroom Diversity: Global Standards and Progress

Kala opens with an overview of global diversity standards, particularly the mandatory requirements in European countries for female representation on boards and similar quotas in the United States. These measures have led to substantial improvements in board composition—this is evidence that mandates can effectively promote diversity. However, challenges remain. In Australia, female representation on ASX 200 boards has seen recent declines, and figures continue to fluctuate worldwide.

The Impact of Diversity on Board Performance: Research Insights and Practical Outcomes

Kala discusses studies from the Harvard Business Review, which emphasise the broader benefits of diversity beyond mere representation. These benefits include enhanced decision-making processes, reduced groupthink, and increased financial performance. She highlights the critical role women play in enriching board discussions and how their style adds value to the tone, decision-making and more collaborative approaches.

Personal Experiences from the Boardroom: Challenges and Achievements

Sharing her personal journey, Kala reflects on her experiences as often the only woman in BSI’s boardroom. She discusses the unique challenges and strategies for making one's voice heard in male-dominated environments. Her story underscores the importance of support networks, like Women on Boards, which have helped her develop and maintain her leadership style.

The Importance of Collaborative Leadership: A New Style of Decision-Making

Kala then moves on to collaborative decision-making—a style she advocates in contrast to more traditional, hierarchical approaches. She describes her style, which leverages the strengths of multitasking and prioritises maintaining strong relationships across all levels of an organisation, from employees to shareholders.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for Meaningful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Integration

This episode highlights the need for more inclusive practices and the need for diverse voices on boards, and positions but also illustrates the tangible benefits that women bring to boardrooms.

Tune in to our next episode, where we gain valuable insights into how diverse leadership can significantly alter the fabric of corporate governance and lead to greater success and innovation across industries.

Watch the full podcast episode on Apple or Spotify.

Learn more about how BSI digital can help you with your Diversity and Inclusion learning needs - get in contact with one of our team.

Stay tuned for more on the next video of BSI’s Future Learning Podcast series.
Thank you for tuning in!

Simon, Kala, and the BSI Team