Just like many corporate boards, mutual fund boards have an opportunity to strengthen their operations, and solve some of the challenges they face, by more effectively thinking about the value of diversity. By seating professionals from a wide variety of professional and cultural backgrounds, mutual fund boards can add significant value, enhance oversight, and benefit from the value of differing perspectives and ideas.
Admittedly, to achieve the best in diversity, mutual fund boards should strive to find the best person for the seat, so diversity should be just one of many factors for successful candidacy. But it should be one of the primary factors. Certainly, it doesn't make sense to screen out an exceptional candidate because it doesn't help with diversity, but it doesn't make sense to use the lack of diversity as an excuse to stay with the status quo. Because mutual fund boards are charged with overseeing both the operations and the funds from a shareholder perspective, it only makes sense to have the board mirror the many faces of the shareholders it represents.