The Institute of Directors welcomes Future Directors expansion

29 Jun 2016

The Institute of Directors (IoD) is pleased with the government’s announcement that its Future Directors programme will be extended to state sector boards, further strengthening New Zealand’s director pool.

Minister for Women Louise Upston announced the extension saying public sector boards and committees would benefit from the programme, as well as develop a larger and more diverse pipeline.

Founded in 2012 by Sir Stephen Tindall, Michael Stiassny and Des Hunt, Future Directors develops the next generation of directors. Seventeen private sector companies have so far placed 20 Future Directors on their boards, with another four in progress.

IoD Chief Executive Simon Arcus says Ms Upston’s announcement was good news for delivering board diversity, new talent and fresh perspectives.

“This is a significant and innovative step for the public sector and continues the achievements in diversity to date by giving people with potential a great opportunity,” Mr Arcus says.

“The need for diversity of age in the boardroom reflects the rapid changes in the business landscape. The dividend that diversity pays is bringing different perspectives and more robust decision-making, effective risk management and better company performance.

“The IoD has long held the view that diversity of thought and perspective in the boardroom improves business performance and innovation.”

Future Directors aims to give young talented people the opportunity to observe and participate on a company board for a year while giving the company exposure to this talent and the benefits a young mind can bring.

Last week the IoD called for boards to lift their game as board diversity was critical to maintaining a competitive and vibrant economy. It released a guide to support the promotion of diversity at board tables, and help board chairs and key decision makers take steps to address New Zealand’s poor boardroom diversity statistics.

The government’s goal is to have 45% women directors on public sector boards. Women currently make up 43.4% of public sector boards.

This compares to the private sector where IoD research showed 77% of the top 122 NZX companies have less than 30% of women directors on their boards, with 39 having no women at all.

The IoD believes encouraging business to buy in to diversity is the best approach.

-ENDS-

For more information please contact: Justine Turner Manager Communications IoD 027 957 0315