GCC boards need to focus more on diversity: Experts

 25 May 2016 - 0:00

GCC boards need to focus  more on diversity: Experts
Dr Amer Al Rawas, CEO, Tasneea Oil & Gas Technology, delivering keynote speech at the GCC BDI alumni dinner.


DOHA: Influenced by shifting economic, social and regulatory trends, diversity of thought is becoming increasingly important at board level, experts said during the 22nd edition of the Foundation of Directorship Workshop conducted by the GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI) on May 23 and 24.
The workshop participants, board directors and senior executives from leading regional businesses, represented companies including Saudi Mechanical Industries, Tasnee, Saudi Telecom Company, Premier Group, Shahini Holding Group, General Organization for Social Insurance, ACWA Power, RAK Gas, Commercial Bank International and IPIC.
“The characteristics of a model board do not stop at specific industry knowledge or detailed expert understanding,” said Jane Valls, Executive Director, GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI). “To ensure corporate governance is effective, diverse thinking and authentic dialogue at board level, it is important for companies to diversify the type of thinkers in the boardroom, going beyond characteristics like age, gender, skills and life experiences; with the right mix of attitudes and behaviour, coupled with a charismatic chairman, boardrooms can better steer the discussions and challenge each other with candour when things are not going the right way,” Valls added.
According to the BDI 2015 report on Board Effectiveness in the Gulf, 59 percent of respondents do not believe that all board members make meaningful contributions during board meetings in the GCC.
“I think a board can only be as effective as its directors. This is why making sure there is a right mix not only of skills and expertise but also of personalities and diversity of thought is essential, along with a culture of trust and mutual respect so as to foster open and constructive discussions,” said Dr Amer Al Rawas, CEO, Tasneea Oil & Gas Technology, during his keynote speech at the GCC BDI alumni dinner, which preceded the workshop.
“Effective boards are essential for the sustainability of economies and prosperity of societies. BDI is playing a pivotal role in promoting professional directorship through effective learning programs, knowledge sharing platforms, and networking events in our region. With a regionally focused mission and very well balanced agenda, BDI provides an excellent platform for a constructive dialogue amongst ourselves and with the regulatory authorities to share best governance practices,” added Dr Amer.
The GCC Board Directors Institute has established one of the region’s largest and most influential networks of close to700 board members in the region.

The Peninsula