ACS has supported calls by Bill Ferris, Chair of Innovation and Science Australia, for organisations to view diversity through a prism of more than gender.

At an event for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Ferris spoke of the need to address issues in addition to gender when viewing diversity, in particular looking to appoint directors with digital skills.

“These kinds of skills are no longer nice to haves; they are core to the ability," Ferris said.

"Prioritising seats at the table to those who can offer these insights is a key challenge facing Australian boards.”

Speaking from San Francisco where he is attending the RSA Conference, ACS President Yohan Ramasundara endorsed Ferris’ comments.

“Our Fellows and Senior Members undertake a rigorous process in order to achieve their status within ACS," he said.

"They are the kinds of candidates that companies need to be looking for if they are to create a board that understands the importance of digital business.

Bill Ferris at the National Press Club, Canberra. Source: ABC

“Organisations that do not embrace digital will not survive the transition to industry 4.0.

"It is time for large organisations to realise that the governance level must have these skills in order to guide the business.”

Ramasundara said Ferris’ call for more technologists on boards is just one way to help build these skills in the governance sphere.

"We believe that boards should also look to appoint those candidates who can demonstrate that their technical literacy is recognised, as they will be assets for the business in times to come.”