If your startup needs diverse board members seek help


Editor’s Observe: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the previous COO of eBay, will supply candid, sensible, and typically shocking recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at [email protected].

Q. I’ve open seats on my board, and I’m struggling to seek out diverse candidates to fill them. Any suggestions?

-CEO of East Coast-based startup


Expensive CEO,

Nice query.

I’m glad to listen to you might be targeted on this. The efficiency of your enterprise might be higher if you’re extra diverse as a diverse firm is extra consultant of society as a complete. It higher understands its clients, its group, and its objective. A report from McKinsey & Firm signifies that the highest racially diverse tech firms are 35% extra more likely to have monetary returns larger than the tech sector’s nationwide median. Firms which are extra gender diverse are 15% extra more likely to outperform others and people which are ethnically diverse are 35% extra more likely to outperform.

My fast reply on how you can enhance the variety of your board is that you shouldn’t do that alone. Get help!

I counsel you rent a recruiter who does this for a dwelling. I do know it prices cash, however you might be on the market in search of the identical factor everybody else is in search of. I’ve labored with search companies and have had a fantastic expertise with Jeff Sanders at Heidrick & Struggles and James Citrin at SpencerStuart, each of whom have wonderful reputations. These companies, like the businesses that rent them, are very targeted on putting diverse candidates. Jeff has advised me that over the past two years, about 65% of their placements in North America have been diverse candidates.

There may be additionally a nonprofit known as Him For Her, which was based to help speed up variety on company boards. Working with the understanding that the issue isn’t the pipeline (there’s no scarcity of gifted feminine executives excited about board service) however the community, this group matches “board-building CEOs” with “board-ready ladies.” Him For Her supplies board referrals drawn from its expertise community of greater than 3000 ladies, a 3rd of whom are ladies of coloration. The referral service is free; firms merely make a tax-free donation once they appoint a Him For Her referral to the board. I believe you’ll discover this is a superb and cost-efficient choice to help discover excellent candidates to strengthen your board.


I want you luck in your search