Calls for diversity in corporate directorships often risk turning into a demand for quotas. A recent study by the Conference Board on diversity, however, seems to put diversity in the right perspective.
It found diversity of board members may enhance corporate strategic capabilities, but found no connection to better performance.
That sounds like an intuitively satisfying conclusion. For does any race or gender or ethnicity have an edge in performance?
An author of the study, Carolyn Kay Brancato, puts a proper perspective on diversity when she said, "Quarterly earnings per share don't tell the whole story. Diversity is an issue in corporate effectiveness."
Companies that ignore diversity will suffer in the marketplace in the long term as other companies snatch up neglected but talented people.
But companies should reject all attempts to turn calls for diversity into quotas. And they should not add new candidates to their boards to satisfy the appearance of diversity.