As has been well documented, diversity within boards by those from under-represented groups is an important challenge for the higher education sector. Reports such as the Parker Review and the Davies Report, as well as Women Count by Norma Jarboe have highlighted the need for sector leaders to be more proactive in establishing and promoting diversity on boards.
Board Vacancies Portal
In order for the higher education sector to attract more diverse candidates to sit on governing boards there needs to be an increase in the accessibility and transparency of vacancies. Advance HE and Committee of University Chairs (CUC), in collaboration with Association of Heads of University Administration and the 30% club, are pleased to announce the launch of a central repository for board vacancies in higher education via CUC’s website. The portal will provide aspiring board members with a central online repository of board level vacancies in the higher education sector.
Board Diversity Framework
Following the publication of the Leadership Foundation report ‘Increasing the diversity of senior leaders in higher education: the role of executive search firms’ authored by Professor Simonetta Manfredi in March 2017, we have published a diversity principles framework to support greater diversity in board appointments.
The framework was constructed by consulting executive search firms in the higher education sector along with HR representatives. The framework builds on recommendations from Professor Manfredi’s report combined with the outcomes from the consultation. Executive search firms and hiring institutions can use the document for support when working together on board appointments.
Board Recruitment Framework
In line with the diversity principles framework, Advance HE has launched a board recruitment framework as part of the project. This includes guidelines for preparing job descriptions, person specifications and advert texts for board roles which are inclusive. This framework was constructed by combining resources from Advance HE with the Core Skills framework co-produced by the Scottish government Public Appointments Team and Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland’s office.