Why Women Should Join Nonprofit Boards

by Hazel Sartorio on March 17, 2017 and last updated on September 6, 2018

Why Women Should Join Nonprofit Boards

Gone are the days when women are treated as inferior to men. Several protests around the world – including the recently conducted “Day without a Woman” and “Women’s March” that happened in January – have ignited the fire of hope in women to continue in advocating for legislations and reforms. Most of these advocacies include human rights and other issues such as gender equality, healthcare reform, immigration rights, environmental awareness, racial equality, and labor rights.

Women’s labor rights in particular have long been an issue ever since the beginning and have only started to get equal opportunities during the 60s and 70s. Women engagement in the labor force has improved from a 38.1% share in the 70s, up to a 46.8% share in 2015. This 8.7% improvement is still significantly low considering that more than 40 years have passed since women began entering the labor force.

But with the likes of Xerox’s Chair-CEO Ursula Burns, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, and other women CEOs and business leaders, we can all agree that women are as good as men when it comes to leading organizations. And because of Day without a Woman, it is only fitting and timely that women should consider joining nonprofit boards in order to further promote advocacies and put voice in the minority. After all, women are perfect for the position due to the following reasons:

Better At Communicating

Women are better communicators than men. Maybe this is because they are more compassionate as human beings. They have more sensitivity towards other people which is why they tend to actually listen to personal concerns of peers and subordinates. They listen to complaints and keep them as a note for improvements in the future.

Less Egotistic

Laura Otten, the executive director of The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business in Philadelphia said in a York Daily Record article that, “Some men are less likely to join a nonprofit’s board because they see the position as less prestigious than serving on a corporate board.”  She also said that women are more concerned and passionate about the cause of an organization rather than the compensation or the contacts they will get from joining the board. Maybe this is because men have always had the privilege of being in the workforce. Years of conditioning in the society led most men to believe that nonprofit boards are of less significance, so they would much rather join for-profit boards.

More Motivated and Ambitious

As we all know and pointing out the introduction above, women have always been deprived of leadership positions. This is why women are now becoming more motivated than men in order to prove themselves that they are worthy of the position and are less likely to take it for granted. Recent studies including Pew Research Center and McKinsey have showed that there is a huge impact on positive business outcomes when there is an association of higher representation of women in the boardroom.

To Create Diversity

Women in particular have different experiences and point of views from men. This is why having diversity in a board provides an opportunity for a richer set of ideas that will help provide wisdom and insight at a level that can greatly benefit the organization in the future.

Studies also suggest that gender diversity in boards can be connected with less unethical behavior, better corporate governance and board oversight.

Women in nonprofit boards can help strengthen the power of an organization and achieve good governance. Do you know any successful woman in a nonprofit board? Leave us a comment!

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