Diversity Award Interview with Justine Colyer, CEO of Rise Network
Last week I had the great pleasure of interviewing Justine Colyer, CEO of Rise Network, about her recent Difference Maker Diversity Award. The Difference Maker Diversity Awards highlight those who are showing exceptional leadership, courage and commitment in promoting diversity to achieve better governance outcomes for their organisation and for society.
After completing the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program this year, I was already convinced about the great benefits Board diversity can provide. This belief was further embedded by Justine’s insights about the successes of diversity.
I asked Justine to share some of the practical strategies she uses to promote diversity on Boards. Justine explained –
1. Different hats – Boards and leadership teams will exist in an echo chamber if they only hang out with their own people. To make optimal decisions and move forward successfully, it is important to involve not just your strongest champions but also your biggest sceptics in decision making.
2. Get the basics – Diversity on Boards can only reach its full potential if the whole Board has a shared vision about what the Board should look like. That is, the entire Board needs to ensure that whatever their background, they have the basic legal, governance and financial skills to understand and fulfil their responsibilities. If diverse members feel less capable than, or are seen as less capable by, other Board members, their valuable diverse view can be diminished. Therefore it is important to have a skills matrix that everyone meets. And this needs to be supported by extra training or mentoring for those who need it.
3. Have a good Chair – Ensure your Board has an exceptional Chair with extraordinary facilitation skills. The Chair can allow for diverse backgrounds, understandings and personalities and get the best knowledge out of all Board members by ensuring all voices are heard.
Secondly, I asked Justine to share the benefits gained from diversity on Boards. She said that the best decisions are made by utilising the maximum amount of information, and therefore the best decisions are informed by multiple viewpoints. Justine credits better decisions to diversity and feeling comfortable with the richness brought from divergent viewpoints. Justine also finds great personal benefits from diverse Boards. The diversity means that members are exposed to leaders in different fields and therefore each member grows their skills by learning from one another.
Justine continues to champion diversity on Boards in many forms – for example by age (both young and old), gender, cultural background, regional perspective, LGBTQIA, personality and sectors. Congratulations to Justine for being a very worthy recipient of the Difference Maker Diversity Award.
Author: Erica Lampropoulos
BECOME A MEMBER
Receive our news, events and other special offers to your emailSIGN UP NOW
ELGP 2021 PROJECT – BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS ON BOARD
We are very proud of our ELGP 2021 graduates who have developed the exceptional project that explores the Behavioral Problems on Board. When you bring together a group of individuals who have different personalities, carry a variety of skill sets, and who come from different backgrounds, there are inevitably going to be challenges in how that […]
ELGP 2021 PROJECT – INVOLVEMENT OF THE BOARD IN DEVELOPING A VISION AND PURPOSE, AND CREATING A STRATEGY FOR A NON FOR PROFIT
Well done to our ELGP 2021 participants who have done an amazing job on preparing the project that explores the topic of Involvement of the Board in Developing a Vision and Purpose and Creating a Strategy for a Not for Profit. Having a strategic lens is one of the key functions of a Board Director, however a Board’s responsibility also extends to creating and embedding a vision, purpose and strategy. This e-book provides aspiring […]
ELGP 2021 PROJECT – MAKING DECISIONS ON BOARDS FOR EMERGING LEADERS IN GOVERNANCE
Our ELGP 2021 graduates project discussed the topic of decision-making on Boards for Emerging Leaders in Governance. The e-book created by our participants supports emerging leaders on aged care and community boards to make better decisions. For emerging leaders on a community board, making decisions can be a nerve wracking and daunting experience. This e-book provides useful tools and processes to build decision-making confidence. This is achieved through […]