Turid Solvang est la première femme à être nommée Présidente d’ecoDa, dont AFECA est membre affilié depuis plusieurs années. Turid Solvang souligne avec conviction l’importance de la diversité (notamment de genre) comme levier de confiance dans les conseils, qu’elle identifie comme un enjeu majeur de gouvernance.
Trust trumps board agenda
Change is ever the only constant, and every day we are reminded of it. Corporate governance standards install trust, and in times of turbulence a high standard of corporate governance is imperative.
Social and economic upheaval affects every corner of society, and even some of the most respected companies add fuel to the fire: Corporate scandals erode trust not only in the individuals and brands and companies involved, but in entire industries, and in business in and of itself.
In ecoDa, in AFECA and other member organizations, as in every board of directors, we need to remain ever mindful that trust built over decades can be destroyed in a minute, and that what affects one, affects us all.
Considerable power and value is at stake in the boardroom. Boards hire and fire executives. Boards chart the company’s major strategic choices. Boards monitor the company’s operation. So when stakeholders hold their watchful eye over what happens in the boardroom – it is only to be expected.
As the voice of European Directors, it is ecoDa’s responsibility to build trust in boards. In my view, this is our chief task, and it will be my main goal going forward. Here are three questions anyone concerned with trust in boards should consider:
- With permanent high pressure for short-termism, how can we ensure that the board devotes sufficient attention to long-term strategy?
- With fundamental structural changes in business and markets ongoing, how do we ensure that the board has the competence to grasp how our industry will do business in the future?
- With constant volatility, how can we future-proof the composition of our boards to cater for current and future change?
Indications are that flipping the stack is no longer the answer. While experience is more valuable than ever, the same experience multiplied by a factor of five is not five times better – neither with regards to governance, nor to strategy. I am a firm believer in diversity around the boardroom table, and research now concurs: Companies with diversity in the boardroom, and specifically with more women directors, are also more profitable.