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Sally Percy

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Time for diversity – white paper for EY

About this project

For this project, I interviewed a number of board directors and chairs around the world on the topic of diversity and wrote up the findings in a white paper entitled "Time for diversity - Accelerating performance in corporate boardrooms". The paper was commissioned by professional services giant EY, which was very pleased with the end result. The paper helped to accelerate the debate about quotas and the importance of diversity in boardrooms.


Diversity in its many forms, including age, background, ethnicity, nationality, professional experience and training as well as gender, is a critical component in a high-performing board. This was the clear consensus of participants in our research. They argued that, since board members from different backgrounds are sensitive to different risks, they could challenge the executive team to manage these more effectively.

As the business environment becomes ever more complex, the risks that companies face are multiplying. Globalization presents particular problems due to the challenges associated with buying and selling goods and services in a range of markets. National and international political and regulatory landscapes are continually changing. Furthermore, rapid advances in technology are bringing risk as well as opportunity, because companies are forced to adapt quickly to evolving social trends.