Sharing Networks to Increase Diversity in Conversation with Nora Crouch

Nora Crouch, a former Fortune 500 Chief Accounting Officer, has served on boards and audit committees and is a qualified financial expert. Nora combines her broad financial expertise with her strong strategic oversight capability. She has successfully served on private company boards and has held leadership positions on a number of non-profit boards.

Today we are in conversation with Nora to discuss her take on diversity in the boardroom and how to create more inclusive company boards. Nora shares with us why she thinks boards and companies lack diversity, and how to overcome this challenge.

Nora, as someone who has served on many boards you are aware of the lack of diversity. Why do you think this seems to happen? What are some ways to create more inclusive boards?

“Much has been written and discussed over the last several years regarding the lack of diversity in the boardroom. And while the number of women and people of color on corporate boards increases across the U.S. and globally, there is more work to be done as we look to 2021 and beyond.

“Part of this issue that intrigues me, is whether or not there is a sufficient pipeline of qualified, diverse candidates to fill available roles. I think the issue lies not with the availability of diverse talent, but more with the fact that people currently in executive talent pools have extremely homogeneous personal and professional networks. This narrows their view of available talent.

“When I look at my own network, most of the people in it look like me and have similar backgrounds and life experiences. This is not unique to me and it is not unusual to be drawn to people who are similar to yourself, but I do believe that it’s something to be mindful of. I think there are a number of ways to change this pattern.

“Share your network. Look at your network and introduce people who come from different backgrounds and may benefit one another personally or professionally. Share your experiences. If you are involved with organizations and groups that focus on increasing diversity or on multi-cultural initiatives and missions, spread the word about them so others can get involved too. Lastly, I have been fortunate enough to work with a number of talented women and people of color from a variety of fields and levels of experiences. I always encourage people to reach out to me and receive my references. I am always happy to connect people in my network!”

Thank you, Nora. Those are helpful tips.

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