Diverse perspectives improve the quality of business decisions made by corporate boards of directors, according to Brookdale’s CEO Cindy Baier. Cindy participated in a recent panel discussion, organized by the Kennedy Center for Business Ethics at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., that explored the role of diversity and inclusion in business. During the almost one-hour long program, Baier shared stories from her personal experiences as a senior executive and board member at several different companies. She pointed out that diversity relates to more than just gender or race, that diversity of thought, education, experience, and fields of expertise are also relevant when seeking the benefits of having a diverse organization.
Cindy told the group that when she became Brookdale’s CEO and joined the Board of Directors in February of 2018, she provided the Board with a list of candidates to consider as they identified potential nominees to refresh the board. This list addressed both gender and racial diversity. As a result of the shareholder vote in October of 2018, four of eight Brookdale board members are now female and one is African-American.
Baier said that she is proud of Brookdale’s efforts to achieve gender parity, which is unusual in corporate America. She said this is important for Brookdale’s business because about 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women, over 75% of caregivers are female and 65% of care recipients are female.