Glass ceiling halts trustee progress

People from ethnic minorities and women may be hitting glass ceilings in the trustee boards of large voluntary organisations, new research from the Governance Hub reveals.

BoardCounts 2007, which launches today at a governance conference run by the NCVO and consultancy OnBoard, shows that women account for 45 per cent of board members in small organisations but only 29 per cent in large organisations.

The trend is similar for people from ethnic minorities, who make up 12 per cent of boards in small charities, but 7 per cent in large organisations; 48 per cent of them say they feel that boards do not adequately represent disabled people.

“We need to encourage more diversity on boards to ensure they are representative of the people and communities they serve,” said Anne Moynihan, head of governance and leadership at the NCVO.

The study concludes that, although governance has definitely moved up the agenda in the voluntary sector, charities still need to adopt a more professional approach to selecting, recruiting, developing and assessing the performance of their boards.

BoardCounts 2007 surveyed 450 board members across 70 organisations.

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