Diversity implications when employees are restricted from serving as a director for another company

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– Some companies have policies that restrict their employees from serving as a director at another company.
– Pros for that include time availability. Cons include it might be discriminatory in the way the policy operates in practice if only white men are permitted to serve.

This DealBook column highlights an interesting dilemma for companies. Should corporate policy allow its employees to serve as a director? In other words, can employees “moonlight” by adding a directorship to their day job?

On its face, I can see the reasons why a company wouldn’t want it. They want employees to give their employer their “all.” Serving as a director – if done properly – takes quite a bit of time. If a company is in crisis mode, being a director can feel like a full-time job.

Then again, many of the busiest people on earth – the CEOs of major companies – are serving on one or more boards of companies that are not their own. So there is a double standard for sure if managers below the CEO were blocked from serving. But the DealBook puts a whole new spin on this.