PSI Leads the Way with Board Diversity

This week, the organization Global Health 50/50 launched its fifth annual report, ‘Boards for All? A review of power, policy, and people on the boards of organizations active in global health’. In the report, Population Services International (PSI) was rated as a “high performer,” ranking in the top 10 percent out of 200 assessed organizations. PSI was further recognized and commended for its Board diversity: women comprise 60 percent of the PSI Board, and 40 percent of its Board members are from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Comparatively, this study uncovered alarming findings across the organizations it assessed in the global health sector. In analyzing the demographic data of over 2,000 Board members, Global Health 50/50 found that only 25 percent of Board seats are held by nationals of LMICs, and only 1 percent of Board seats are held by women from LMICs. This equates to only 17 seats for women from LMICs out of over 2,000.

Why is Board diversity important? The Boards of global health organizations make decisions about the distribution of billions of dollars each year and set the agenda for global health policy priorities. Given the influence they have in affecting the health outcomes of people around the world, it is vital that the governing bodies of global health organizations represent the communities impacted by their programs.

“PSI’s Board and staff made a commitment to Board diversity several years ago, which has resulted in a rich representation of thought and lived experience on the Board.  We learn from one another, and every Board member offers unique contributions that help PSI build stronger, smarter, and more inclusive strategies. This allows us to achieve better health outcome across the world and serve our consumer, Sara and Sam. Our Board’s diversity is valuable, and we are all the better because of it,” said Carolyn Brehm, Chair of the PSI Board.

Global Health 50/50’s 2022 report also included an assessment of gender-related policies, practices, and outcomes among leading global health organizations. In addition to scoring highly on these indicators, PSI also received the top score for its publicly available Board policy, which includes specific measures (e.g., targets, dedicated seats, monitoring) to promote diversity, inclusion, and representation on the Board.

PSI’s rating as a high performer marks the fourth year running where PSI has consistently achieved a top-ranking score by Global Health 50/50.

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