Saturday last saw an interesting opinion piece in the Huffington Post about nonprofit board diversity. I certainly don't see this topic come-up much in any media but lo and behold. The author, a labor union grounded think-tank CEO, speaks in this piece about her own experience finding importance and value in having a board whose collective wisdom sprung from the divergent experiences and perspectives brought to the table, which added true value to her work.
So, for these folks diversity in the seats mattered because the varying lens around the table informs action, perhaps different action, than what might otherwise transpire had all the folks been of one income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
However, I want also to note that the author described board meetings where active conversation took place. Presumably, action, resulting from these conversations also took place. My thought: diversity matters most when the conversations matter because they produce results for the organization; for the mission.