As a member of Women in the Boardroom, I am a big supporter of adding more diversity, including women, to corporate boards.
Now I have a new reason. According to the 2016 Global Board of Directors report, a collaboration between Harvard Business School professors, Spencer Stuart and WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation, women board directors tend to look at the bigger picture of an organization and focus on long term strategy. As such, they are more attuned to focus on long term risks.
The report further showed that cybersecurity is one of the top three issues that directors are concerned about, and women directors show a higher level of concern of this risk, among others, than their male counterparts.
However, another report released recently by the National Association of Corporate Directors found that directors’ comprehension of cyber risk is low and further, that a very low percentage of directors and/or boards have a high level of understanding of cybersecurity risks to the organization. On top of that, 31 percent of those surveyed said they were either “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the information they receive from management around cybersecurity.
As I have said before, it is incredibly important for the board of an organization to understand and manage the data privacy and security risks of the organization, and having someone on the board that understands the risks and can educate other board members about managing the risks is imperative.
Bottom line? Women are more attuned to cyber risks to the organization, so during the next nominating committee session, consider appointing a woman to your board to help manage those risks to the company.