The Institute of Directors (IoD) has opened applications for its newly expanded Mentoring for Diversity programme. The programme aims to improve diversity in New Zealand boardrooms by developing board-ready talent.
Mentoring for Diversity matches high-performing directors with experienced chairmen and senior directors for mentoring, to develop the skills and knowledge needed for an appointment to a listed or large company board.
The Institute says in a statement that historically, Mentoring for Diversity has targeted the gender imbalance in New Zealand boardrooms, with 80 women having been through since its launch in 2011. This year sees the programme expand to embrace diversity in its broadest sense, encompassing ethnicity, age, skillset and background, in addition to gender.
“The IoD is committed to diversity of thought. That’s achieved by more attention to board composition, tenure rules and succession planning and boards need to be thinking about these things,” says IoD Acting Chief Executive Simon Arcus.
“The dividend that diversity pays is bringing different perspectives into New Zealand boardrooms and more robust decision-making, effective risk management and better company performance.”
“Mentoring for Diversity helps to ensure that we have that diversity of perspectives coming through the talent pipeline.”
2013 mentee Rachel Farrant says she found Mentoring for Diversity an excellent programme, with her mentor offering valuable insights into the workings of a large commercial environment.
“We talked a lot about his experiences, how he’d worked through issues, and where else I could go to get resources. Certainly, I got some really good, clear principles of things you should and shouldn’t do on boards. And heard a lot of good war sort of stories – that was probably the best thing.”
She says the scheme enabled her to demonstrate a commitment to learning about governance and she encourages others to apply.
Mentoring for Diversity is expected to offer around 20 places in 2015, with mentoring to begin in July. Applications open 5 March 2015 and must be submitted by the end of March. Applicants should have demonstrated commercial experience and will need to outline the unique qualities they can bring to the boardroom.
For further details or to apply, see iod.org.nz.
DDI: 04 470 2665