CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/12/12 -- Alberta-based business leaders from the Canadian Young Presidents' Organization and World Presidents' Organization are weighing in on the subject of corporate board diversity by promoting a focus on talent rather than gender - with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurial thinking - in order to strengthen Alberta businesses and maintain international competitiveness.
"Talent with a bias toward innovation, creativity, consumer-orientation, and sector-specific knowledge needs to be tapped for long-term business sustainability," says Debby Carreau, CEO of Calgary-based Inspired HR. "Recruiters need to consider a broader range of characteristics - including non-corporate career paths - that can and should be part of the mix at the board table," she added. Carreau says that one corporate trend is toward advisory boards that provide corporate leadership access to a diversity of talent, a practice she says would greatly benefit Alberta businesses.
Carreau and Beth Reimer-Heck, Q.C., and Counsel at Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), co-chaired a Calgary event today as part of an international initiative, known as 12/12/12, to promote board diversity. The event was sponsored by Women's International Network, BLG, and YPO Canada.
"Alberta is rightly proud of its place on the world stage," says Reimer-Heck, a corporate lawyer with twenty-five years' experience in transformational change. "But we run the risk of underperforming if we don't take the diversity imperative seriously." She added that while the talent argument isn't gender-based, diversifying the talent pool would naturally lead to more women at leadership levels.
Other points that came out of the meeting included: thinking about expanding board mandates to go beyond financial risk management toward broader organizational risk management; a stronger focus on sponsorship of diverse talent by men and women already in the executive ranks; mentorship of diverse candidates, and; providing support to women's board-focused professional groups that promote mentoring and sponsorship based on talent.
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