Implemented strategically, this board technology can promote director diversity, improve security and make meetings more efficient.
The Promise of Portals
Every credit union board wants to be strategic. Strategic thinking can be boosted when directors have a mix of expertise, demographics and credentials. By encouraging board diversity, boards can incorporate broader views and better represent the membership. But credit unions sometimes find attaining this diversity at the board level a challenge.
They’re not alone. According to a 2017 survey by the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute, 80 percent of S&P 500 boards have an average age in the 60s, with little difference by company size and industry, and the median average age for all boards is 62.4 years.
Can portals help attract diversity?
Absolutely, says credit union CEO and CUES member Amy Nelson of $100 million Point West Credit Union, Portland, Ore., especially age diversity. Younger directors join expecting to have convenient access to information to prepare for board meetings and that meetings will be run efficiently online. Point West CU uses the portal from CUES strategic provider Aprio (aprio.net), which is also used by CUES to manage its own board.
Ian Warner, CEO of Aprio, adds that achieving board diversity isn’t just about attracting diverse members, it’s about ensuring every director has an equal voice. Board portals are critical for providing a forum beyond meetings for online discussions and surveys, and ensuring same-time access to complete information for every director.