As part of the 2021 BSA National Annual Meeting, the organization held multiple Fireside Chat virtual meetings on a handful of key topics. These included Safety, Membership Growth, Female Board Leadership, and Governance. Female Board Leadership was the topic for the third of these meetings.
Female Board Leadership
The Fireside Chat focused on thoughts and strategies for increasing female board leadership as well as increasing the overall diversity of boards for the Boy Scouts of America, both at national and local council levels.
Led by BSA National Executive Board Member and National Executive Committee Member Thear Suzuki, the panel of speakers also included South Florida Council President Alicia Speight, National Executive Board Member Tanya Acker, BSA Chief Diversity Officer Elizabeth Washka, Crossroads of America Council Scout Executive Jeff Isaac, and BSA Chair-Elect Brad Tilden. Each speaker shared multiple perspectives on the value of increasing female board membership as well as broadening the diversity of BSA boards.
Panel members cited the importance of having a board that is reflective of the diverse membership the BSA. This strategy seeks to focus on understanding and connecting with moms, many of whom often make the decision on the types of organizations their children join. The panel members discussed how diversity at the board level helps to bring a diversity of thought into problem solving and seeking innovative ways to grow the Scouting movement.
The panel noted that board members can have a variety of roles, including doers, donors, and door-openers, and that focusing on the strengths of board members of diverse backgrounds can benefit the BSA on many levels while also providing a greater connection to the many communities the BSA aims to serve.
For more information on the Female Board Leadership Fireside Chat, watch it below: