For The Chartered Governance Institute Awards 2020, we announced two new exciting – as well as highly significant – awards in May 2020. As we are taking our awards into a virtual environment this year, we have been able to extend the deadline for nominations for the 2020 Awards. You now have until Sunday, 20 September to help us celebrate those who've made an exceptional contribution to governance, and those who have gone above and beyond in their roles to encourage, support and lead in the adoption of effective governance. Please head to our awards site to make your nominations.
In a year where the news-cycle has, in-part, been dominated by the Black Lives Matter movement, there is little need to point out just how important diversity and inclusion is. While that movement may have been sparked by the killing of George Floyd by the police, it should also be seen as a reaction to a systemic issue that affects every aspect of society. Governance professionals and the organisations they serve are therefore a part of this as much as the rest of us, and we want you to let us know examples of individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions to this cause.
The issue of diversity and inclusion is not, of course, limited to matters regarding race. We are looking for initiatives that have promoted equality in any sense. Our CEO Sara Drake emphasised the importance of this for the governance professional earlier in the year when she wrote 'Organisations for which company secretaries work must not only adhere to the Equality Act, they must also report on things like the gender pay gap and strive for greater diversity at boardroom level.'
While there have undoubtedly been great strides made in this area in recent years, it's still a place where vast improvement can be made. Our most recent Boardroom Bellwether report demonstrated this clearly, with 55% of respondents stating that they think their board is not ethnically diverse.
Age diversity is an area that most boards ignore. Yet charities have demonstrated there is much to gain by drawing on the energy, commitment and fresh perspectives of 18-24 year-olds as trustees. As charities are increasingly called upon to provide a greater range of services to a wider diversity of people, this is more important than ever.
All aspects of inclusion, including disability, are attracting greater scrutiny. With disability affecting 15% of the world's population, forward-thinking organisations are already building a more inclusive future. KPMG and Purple, a not-for-profit that works with business on disability inclusion, partnered to publish 'Leading from the front – Disability and the role of the Board', the first review of its kind looking at the current research and best practice in the field of disability. One of its three main areas of focus is the intensifying influence of corporate governance. As the review shows, there is still a long way to go in achieving true equality for disabled people, but we want to focus on the initiatives that focus on the progress already made.
Know of an initiative which has really tried to push the envelope on this matter and lead the way for change? Then please get in touch. In particular, the adoption and promotion of clear policies on diversity, underpinned by executive sponsorship, would be relevant here. So, too, would efforts to address the barriers which drive the diversity gap, particularly at executive and board level.
Read the full award description and make your nomination here.