Millennials represent the largest generation ever, yet few of them serve on the boards of companies. This is a huge missed opportunity for companies, who perhaps haven’t yet realized the myriad ways having a young perspective can benefit both their brand and their business model.
In 2013, the median board age of S&P 500 companies was 63 years, a slight increase from previous years, according to the Spencer Stuart Board Index. In the same year, the average age of non-executive directors in FTSE 350 companies was 59.7. Starbucks, which has 33-year-old Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social, on its board, is an example of the rare exception to this trend.
Board appointments are often made so companies can benefit from the members’ business experience. Historically, people have assumed business experience can only be gained with age. This, however, is not always the case. An obvious but important example involves the technology literacy gap.