Do millennials matter in matters corporate governance? – The missing perspective in the boardroom

By Hosea Mutwiri Kanyanga and Gilbert Kiprono

Key words: Millenials, Boards, Governance


 Corporate governance refers to the mechanisms, processes, and relations by which corporations are controlled and directed. The issue of corporate governance has become more pressing in recent times due to high-profile cases of corporate scandals, corruption, and mismanagement. One question that needs to be addressed is whether millennials matter in matters of corporate governance.

Millennials refers to individuals born between 1981 and 1996 – are the largest living generation globally, accounting for over 25% of the world's population. As such, they represent a significant demographic, and their preferences and behavior can significantly impact the economy, markets, and society. However, despite being the largest demographic group in the workforce, millennials have not yet gained much representation in the boardroom or executive roles.

The missing perspective in the boardroom

Corporate boards typically consist of experienced executives, seasoned professionals, and industry veterans who bring expertise, knowledge, and networks to the table. However, what they may lack is a fresh perspective, innovative ideas, and an understanding of the changing landscape, which millennials can provide. While millennials may not have the same level of experience as older counterparts, they bring critically different experiences, values, and perspectives to the table. They can help companies navigate disruptive technologies, demographic shifts, and changing societal norms that will shape the future.

Furthermore, millennials are more tech-savvy and digitally native than older generations, making them more attuned to the online ecosystem, social media, and digital platforms – essential areas for any business. However, one significant barrier to millennials' inclusion in the boardroom is the lack of diversity in the corporate world.

Another reason why millennials may not yet have significant representation in the boardroom is that they are still relatively young and may lack the necessary skills, experiences, and networks required to serve at the highest levels of management. However, this does not mean that companies should overlook the potential of younger generations entirely. Instead, they should focus on developing and nurturing talent from within, providing opportunities for growth, and creating a culture of innovation and inclusivity.

How can companies engage with millennials?

To take advantage of millennials' perspectives and insights, companies need to create an environment that engages, motivates, and retains young talent. One way to do this is to provide opportunities for professional development, mentoring, training, and networking. Millennials highly value learning and development opportunities, and companies that invest in their employees' growth can attract and retain top talent.

Another crucial factor is workplace culture. Companies should strive to create a work environment that is inclusive, collaborative, and empowering, where individuals feel valued, respected, and able to contribute their unique perspectives. This requires a shift from the traditional hierarchical and bureaucratic structures to more agile, flexible, and adaptive models that facilitate innovation, creativity, and experimentation.

Companies can also leverage technology to engage with millennials, who are highly attuned to digital channels such as social media, mobile apps, and virtual collaboration platforms. By embracing digital transformation, companies can connect with millennials more effectively, increase transparency, and foster a sense of community and belonging.


In conclusion, millennials matter in matters of corporate governance, and their perspectives, values, and experiences can provide a significant advantage to companies that seek to adapt, innovate, and thrive in the changing landscape. However, to tap into the potential of younger generations, companies need to create an environment that nurtures young talent, and fosters innovation. They also need to address the lack of diversity in the boardroom and ensure that the board reflects the stakeholder diversity and understands different perspectives. Ultimately, companies that embrace millennials' perspectives can create long-term value for all stakeholders and contribute to a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future.

About the Authors

Hosea Mutwiri is the Research and Strategy Officer, at the Institute of Certified Secretaries (ICS) responsible for promoting good governance by focusing on developing evidence-based research, policy, and publications that serves to inform development of sound and progressive governance practices among various entities in Kenya as well as driving innovation on governance profession. Mutwiri is an Economist with over three years’ experience in financial sector. Previously he worked at the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) across three functions: Research and Data Analytics, Policy and Regulatory Framework, and Product Development and Uptake. In addition, He holds MA (Econ), BSC (Econ & Stat), Diploma in Financial Markets Operations from University of Reading, UK and has undertaken the Capital Markets Programme from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), UK as well as Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Kenya – Intermediate Level.

Gilbert Kiprono is the Manager Research, Strategy and Business Development, at the Institute of Certified Secretaries (ICS). Kiprono is an Economist with over 10 years’ experience in governance research, trade research and policy. He is also adjunct Lecturer at University of Kabianga School of Business and Economics. Previously served as a member of the task force that developed the Kenya Investment Policy, National Export Development Strategy, National Trade Negotiation Council, and World Chambers Congress. In addition, He has served in two secondary schools both as a board member and chairman for 6 years. Kiprono is a trained and certified on enterprise and industrial development (Japan), certified professional mediator (MTI), certified trainer of trainers (CSIA) and Senior Management Course (KSG).

This publication contains general information only and Institute of Certified Secretaries is not, by means of this publication, rendering any professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. ICS shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

Talk to us

Monday - Friday 08.00 - 17.00
+254 (0)20 359 7840

+254 (0)20 359 7842

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.