Making It Work Well
Just adding women and stirring will not produce a successful recipe for reaping the advantages of gender diversity on boards. A major social science contribution is the idea of critical mass. A single woman or ethnic minority can become a token in a group. Balance in the total board structure insures that the added value of diversity is realized. This is why many regulatory schemes require a ratio of at least one third of the underrepresented group. Also crucial is the ability of an organization to create an inclusive culture, so that each board member can contribute to their maximum capacity. The following practices can be important in aiding board member efficacy.