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Increased Board Turnover Likely to Drive Board Diversity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the advocate for the profession of directorship, anticipates that a likely outcome of increased board turnover will be an increase in diversity in the boardroom.

NACD released new findings from its forthcoming 2015–2016 Public Company Governance Survey which show that board turnover continues to increase. Seventy-two percent of respondents indicated that their board added or replaced at least one director in the past year, compared to 64% of respondents to the 2014-2015 survey.

The need for boards to recruit new director candidates can be a catalyst to driving more discussion about board diversity. To help directors initiate these conversations, NACD just released the Diversity Discussion Guide for Directors. The publication offers guidance on helping directors prepare for effective discussions on diversity at board meetings. It also includes a series of questions to help boards define diversity relative to the company's strategic objectives and to set goals, processes, and milestones to measure progress.

"NACD has always maintained that the directors around the boardroom table must bring different perspectives and experiences that align with the company's strategic goals," said NACD CEO Ken Daly. "And while the needle has not moved as much as many would like, we are seeing progress. In fact, more than 80% of the placements made by our Director Recruitment Services team this year have been women or diverse candidates. We encourage boards to seriously consider the recommendations in this guide to build on this positive trend."

The NACD survey asked directors to identify the types of board diversity they actively discussed in the past year. Eighty-nine percent of respondents indicated they discussed professional and industry experience. Seventy-four percent discussed gender diversity while 61% discussed racial/ethnic diversity. Fifty percent of participants reported they discussed age as part of these conversations.

"In light of heightened global trends and business imperatives, the need for diversity of experience and perspectives in the boardroom has become an unmistakable mandate," said Cari Dominguez, NACD Blue Ribbon Commission co-chair, NACD board member, and former chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "NACD's guide offers a road map to help boards put the critical issue of diversity on their agendas."

Directors interested in a more in-depth look at board diversity are encouraged to attend the Diversity Symposium at the NACD Global Board Leader's Summit which runs September 26-29 in Washington, D.C. The symposium features candid sessions on unconscious bias and the Rooney Rule, among others.

NACD has championed diversity in the boardroom for more than three decades. The Diversity Symposium is designed to help boards put more focus on the need for directors who have the skills, experiences, and perspectives that align with company strategy.

For a more in-depth look at overcoming the structural, social, and habitual barriers to expanding board diversity, download the NACD Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Diverse Board at www.NACDonline.org/DiversityBRC.

Download the Diversity Discussion Guide for Directors at www.NACDonline.org/DiversityDiscussion.

To learn more about the NACD Global Board Leaders' Summit, visit www.NACDonline.org/Summit.

About NACD

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the advocate for the profession of directorship and is focused on advancing exemplary board leadership. Informed by more than 35 years of experience, NACD delivers insights and resources that more than 16,000 corporate director members rely on to make sound strategic decisions and confidently confront complex business challenges. NACD provides world-class director education programs, national peer-exchange forums, and proprietary research to promote director professionalism, ultimately enhancing the economic sustainability of the corporate enterprise and bolstering stakeholder confidence. Fostering collaboration among directors, investors, and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit www.NACDonline.org. To become an NACD member, contact Kelly Dodd at kkdodd@NACDonline.org or 202-380-1891.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Chief Marketing Officer Henry Stoever 202-775-0509 hstoever@NACDonline.orgSource:National Association of Corporate Directors