Appendix 6: Sample Board Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Sample organizational board diversity and inclusion policy[1]

This policy is intended to provide a framework for inclusion to promote diversity and inclusion in the board of [insert organization name]. The Board of Directors of [insert organization name] believes in the benefits diversity brings and it recognizes that diversity of thought contributes to the formation of a strong organization. Having a board composed of people with diverse skills, experience, backgrounds and perspectives can contribute to:

  • a robust understanding of opportunities, issues and risks
  • inclusion of different concepts, ideas and relationships
  • enhanced decision-making and dialogue
  • heightened capacity for oversight of the organization and its governance
  • sustainability of the organization

For purposes of board composition, diversity includes, but is not limited to:

  • skills and experience
  • gender
  • race
  • culture/ethnicity
  • sexual orientation
  • income
  • ability
  • age
  • language

The board will make good use of these differences and distinctions among individuals to determine the optimum composition of the board. All board appointments must collectively reflect the diverse nature of the environment in which the organization operates and be made on merit, in the context of the skills, experience, independence and knowledge which the board requires to be effective. The board is committed to ensure gender diversity and to diligently act to effect change. This policy applies to the board of [insert organization name]. It is not intended to apply to employee diversity, which is covered by a separate policy created for that purpose.


Diversity of thought is enhanced through intentional effort. [Insert organization name] will be intentional in ensuring diversity and inclusion. Credibility is enhanced through board and leadership diversity. There is a significant relationship between board and leadership diversity therefore, [insert organization name] will pursue a well-rounded, diverse, and credible approach to ensuring board and leadership diversity.

The board values a diversity of voices and sees the value that they can contribute to creative and innovative thinking within the organization. To ensure the diversity strategy of the organization is viewed as a legitimate process, all appointments will be made on merit. However, the board acknowledges that there are many different skills and knowledges that will enhance the board and its decision-making and so understands that merit is relative to the particular needs of the board. Being transparent and public about the board diversity and inclusion strategy is a helpful step in holding the board accountable, setting an example and providing thought leadership in the sector. Accessibility is enhanced through a powerful collective voice. The board will balance the intent of this policy with the need to be a powerful voice for diversity in all of its forms.


To achieve its diversity aspirations, the board will:

  • ensure the board’s composition considers the balance of skills, experience, knowledge, perspectives, independence and characteristics in alignment with the strategic needs of [insert organization name] and the environment in which it operates
  • identify suitable candidates for appointment to the board, considering candidates on merit against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the team
  • maintain an ongoing list of potential candidates
  • monitor and report annually, in the corporate governance section of [insert organization name]’s annual report and on its website its progress with respect to this policy.


Annually by board

  1. Based on a compilation of many different diversity and inclusion policies


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