Young directors can inspire young employees, who are increasingly seeking out employers that share their views on issues such as social and environmental sustainability, and that articulate a corporate vision they support. Having board members who reflect these values can help attract and seed an organization with top talent.
Tellier said that young people are also naturally more in tune with technology and its staggering impact on things like consumption patterns.
Technology is also making it easier for shareholders, consumers and special interest groups.
“Having said that, the nature of the business or organization could favour younger directors, say under 40,” he adds. “If the business is social media or say, skateboard or snowboard manufacturing and sales, the most experienced people in the room could well be the under-40 crowd. At the end of the day, we at the ICD believe that one size doesn’t fit all. We encourage boards to be open-minded about diverse candidates, not for diversity’s sake but because it can introduce an important perspective for better decision-making that will add value to the business or organization.”
The most important credential in choosing directors must be the individual’s match to that specific board’s needs. In the debate over Clinton, Eric Jackson, a founder of Ironfire Capital, wrote in a blog post on Forbes.com that he thinks Clinton was “a terrible choice—not because she’s not smart, not because she’s young, not because of possible favouritism or cronyism, but because she doesn’t have any industry experience or skin in the game.”