Building Your Board Potential

30% Club and Deloitte  

We strongly believe that the issue of boardroom diversity is of critical importance to all of us at Deloitte, to our clients, and to the world at large. As the marketplace becomes more sophisticated and as expectations rise for boards to include directors with different backgrounds, diversity has become a critical business issue. Boards require diversity of thought, experience and background in order to continue to make good decisions and to provide strong oversight of management. We have seen that greater diversity often makes for more effective boards and more effective leadership: boards that ask questions, that look around corners, and constructively and effectively challenge management. Our recent research demonstrated that diversity of thinking enhances innovation by close to 20% and risk reduction by 30%.

On 9th April 2018, Deloitte Ireland partnered with the 30% Club Ireland to host an event aimed at preparing Ireland’s future talent for board service, and to lay the groundwork for future placements on public and private company boards of directors. The goal of this event, titled “Building Your Board Potential” was to activate the interest of those aspiring board members - female and male - who wish to attain a role on a Board.

Have a look at pictures from the event

Key Themes We Covered

  • Building the Foundations: Anne-Marie Taylor from 30% Club Ireland led a panel discussion on building the foundations of an effective board member. The panel comprised Orlagh Hunt (non-executive director of FBD plc), Maurice Pratt (Chair of Uniphar and director of many companies across a variety of sectors), and Fiona Tierney (CEO of the Public Appointments Service). All the panellists noted that the process of selecting directors has become much more professional and competency-based in recent years.  Boards now very consciously seek to fill gaps in the skill mix they currently have around the table, and to ensure that there is a diversity of backgrounds and views. Anne-Marie commented, ‘for aspiring directors this highlights the importance of building deep skills in areas of strategic relevance, and being in a position to challenge and constructively contribute to debate’.
  • What It Means to Be on a Board: Melissa Scully from Deloitte Ireland’s Center for Corporate Governance outlined evolving role of the board and non-executive directors, skills and experiences required, and what makes a good board member. ’The role of the Board has evolved considerably in recent times. Boards are no longer expected to focus on their supervisory responsibilities, but must ensure sufficient time is being spent on their supervisory role, that is shaping, guiding and supporting management on areas such as culture, talent, technology, innovation and strategy. The next generation of board members bring invaluable skills and capabilities across these areas, not to mention different ways of thinking. It is really important that organisations support aspiring board members in reaching their potential and nurture future board talent. Click here to view Melissa's presentation. 
  • Building Your Network: Jackie Gilmore from Deloitte Human Capital hosted an engaging panel discussion focused   on building the network in order to advance the skills and build the framework required to prepare for board service. As per the research from Herminia Ibarra, Prof of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School,’ the most effective leaders navigated transitions well when they adopted three distinct but interdependent forms of networking – operational, personal and strategic’.  Jackie commented, ‘leaders at transitionary phases must find new means to define themselves, develop new relationships and nurture their evolving personas’. As Maurice Pratt, guest speaker, highlighted, ‘Board Diversity is simply smart business’.

The 30% Club is a global movement of international Chairs and CEOs who are committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations through voluntary actions. The movement seeks to gain support for gender balance in business from leaders of public, private, state and multinational companies and other interested groups.

If you would like more information on this event, please contact Orla Dignam at

To learn more about the '30% Club' visit

For more information about Deloittes Centre for Corporate Governance head to our website. 

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