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Diversity among key points at virtual conference

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Valuable points: Sara Schroter, co-chairwoman of the Institute of Directors Bermuda Branch virtual conference (Photograph supplied)

Boards must continue to face up to the issues of diversity, put in place actions to change culture and have the courage to make bold moves, according to speakers at the Institute of Directors Bermuda Branch virtual conference.

Michelle Cardwell, co-chairwoman of the Institute of Directors Bermuda Branch virtual conference (Photograph supplied)

More than 150 delegates registered for the virtual conference ‘Strategic Oversight in a Changing World’ and heard from top speakers including David Batstone, the co-founder and senior managing partner of Just Business, and Gina Pereira, co-founder and director of REBBL and co-founder and president of Not For Sale.

Sara Schroter, the event’s co-chairwoman, said there were many valuable points made by the speakers. she said: “It was clearly felt that it is very important to ensure that a board continues to keep its long-term purpose front of mind.

“Also, corporate governance is not just about bureaucracy and compliance. If you don’t have prudent governance, you start to increase risk to your shareholders and stakeholders. It’s all basically about risk management.”

She said other key takeouts included: spending time considering how to make organisations more resilient to unknowns; continuing to be good corporate citizens and not using a crisis to push through undesirable or unethical changes; facing up to the issues of board diversity and putting in place actions to change the culture.

Ms Schroter also thanked the sponsors of the conference, Washington Properties, the Business Development Agency Bermuda, Deloitte and Meritus Trust Company.

She said: “All of our sponsors truly believe in the importance of good corporate governance and that encouraging best practices in Bermuda will have a positive impact on the success of our businesses and of our jurisdiction.”

Conference co-chairwoman Michelle Cardwell said some key messages came from the Innovation and Resilience panel, such as building out processes that will allow fast mobilisation, flexibility and the ability to pivot; keeping a pulse on the welfare of the team and the state of the organisation through regular check-ins, and remembering that resilience encompasses not just financial resilience but also operational, organisational, reputational, and business model resilience.

She added: “It is really important to realise that the nature of work and the workforce is changing, and the majority of businesses will not be looking back to pre-Covid times.

“Directors need to ensure that management is planning appropriately for this new norm – maintaining the good things from the company’s culture, adapting performance management and workforce planning, keeping people motivated when working from home, and considering the wellness and welfare of the team.”

IoD Bermuda chairwoman, Rochelle Simons said she was delighted at the impact of the event. She said: “Our appointments as directors are, or should be, demonstrating to management, other directors and shareholders that we have the experience, the capability, the expertise and the commitment to step into this oversight role and to always act in the best interests of the company and to a growing extent, its stakeholders.

“What a privilege to have their trust, and what a responsibility. It is easy when times are good, and the company is running smoothly but the Board steps into its own when times are more difficult.”

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Published November 06, 2020 at 1:08 pm (Updated November 06, 2020 at 1:08 pm)

Diversity among key points at virtual conference

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