To be more effective, boards need to appoint a younger and diverse team, a panel at Inspirefest 2017 heard.

A stimulating panel discussion was recently chaired by Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea and involved Accenture Ireland country managing director Alastair Blair and Symantec board member Dr Anita Sands.

The ‘How we will lead in 2020’ panel indicated that boards are failing their organisations by not embracing greater diversity and giving younger executives a chance.

The conversation was prescient as it came just ahead of a report by the Institute of Directors in Ireland, which found that boards in Ireland lack diversity in terms of gender, skills, race and ethnicity, while women are losing out to men in the ‘who you know’ culture that dominates the appointment process.

“Superstars don’t appear in their 50s, you can see them miles away,” said Blair on the importance of mentoring and bringing younger executives into the hallowed boardroom.