The Globe and Mail’s highly anticipated Board Games 2017 ranking is out, along with all the criteria they use to rank Canada’s best corporate boards. The scoring methodology changed in 2017 and there is a major emphasis on independence, transparency, and accountability at the board level, giving higher marks to boards with more independent directors, boards that don’t have directors who sit together at other organizations, board investment in the company, and how independently compensation decisions are made. It’s a rigorous set of standards and the criteria can teach any organization about what a more competitive, accountable board of directors looks like.

Financial institutions make up 7 of the top 10 in 2017. Credit unions can learn a lot from the scoring criteria about making an independent board. Credit unions need to focus on recruitment and evaluation to build independent boards of directors that can provide better strategic guidance and good governance.

There are two major recruitment challenges facing credit union boards right now: finding younger directors and building more diverse boards. Corporate and credit union leaders across the world recognize the value of increasing diversity on boards and hiring directors with a wider range of backgrounds, skills, and experience. Fortune reported that in many companies, institutional investors are pressuring boards to change their nomination processes in order to achieve diversity goals. Boards need directors who can challenge conventional ways of thinking.

Credit unions in particular are pressed to find directors from younger generations. Millennials are now the largest generation, but few of them sit on boards. That’s a problem for credit unions that are facing an aging membership base and are struggling to appeal to younger demographics.

But changing a board’s nomination process is no easy task, especially when boards are already busy. They can start the conversation by using a board portal – a platform that encourages directors to work in between meetings.

Board management and director discussion outside of meetings frees up time to handle important issues inside the boardroom. Board portals like Aprio Boardroom give administrators better tools for distributing documents and give directors better tools for annotating, discussing, and voting in between meetings. They allow administrators to instantly distribute electronic documents knowing that they’re safe from leaks and cybercriminals thanks to robust data security measures. Board portals such as Aprio allow directors to safely discuss any issue at hand and even vote on them. Use your board portal software to design and discuss a new nomination process for the board that will help improve its diversity.

Board evaluations can also be conducted entirely through a board portal, saving you valuable time in the meeting. Set up a custom survey accessible to the right directors and once they’re filled out you can easily generate a report that’s quick to compare against previous years.

If you want to find out how a board portal can help you reinvent your board’s nomination process, visit Aprio to learn more about the technology. Younger directors and diversity in the boardroom are the only way forward for credit unions and companies of all types.