When the members of a corporate board reflect a company’s customer and employee base, better decisions can be made. That’s the perspective of Brookdale Senior Living’s President & CEO Lucinda “Cindy” Baier, who was a panelist recently at the Corporate Board Member “Boardroom Summit.” Baier spoke about the multiple dimensions of building a diverse boardroom, and pointed to diversity as a way for a board to better understand and respond to the needs of both those who use a company’s services and those who work for the company.
Baier highlighted Brookdale’s success with building a board that includes gender diversity – currently the board is comprised of four male and four female members – but she said that it’s important to remember that diversity of thought, of backgrounds, of industries, experiences, and thought processes are also important.
Baier said that gender diversity in Brookdale’s boardroom is important because 65% of the company’s residents are women, 75% of their associates are women, and 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women. “Having a diverse boardroom creates a more collaborative working environment and it speaks volumes to your employees and customers. It shows them our leadership is reflective of who they are,” said Baier.
The three-day Boardroom Summit covered the full gamut of board-level issues, from risk oversight and shareholder engagement to the board’s hand in culture, cyber security and compensation, and a wide range of corporate governance topics. The event was specifically developed for public company directors and the members of management working closely with them to tackle today’s greatest board leadership and governance challenges.