Board Diversity: S&P 500 No Longer Has Any All-Male Boards
A couple weeks ago, the WSJ reported that all S&P 500 boards now include at least one female director – a pretty significant milestone, given that one in eight boards in that index were all male as recently as 2012. The “Thirty Percent Coalition” – which coincidentally was formed by investors in 2012 with the goal of improving female representation – also announced that 85 companies appointed a woman to their board for the first time during the last year and that more company boards include a woman now than at any other time since the campaign launched.
Of course, there are plenty of companies outside of the S&P 500 that haven’t diversified – and as a Korn Ferry blog points out, business benefits are best realized when 20-30% of the board is “diverse.” The Thirty Percent Coalition’s investors will be asking companies to undertake the following:
1. Disclosure in the Proxy of board composition inclusive of gender, race, and ethnicity
2. Language committing to diversity in Governance charter
3. Disclosure of future plans to make progress on board diversity
4. Adaptation of the “Rooney Rule” for board candidates and senior leadership (investors want each company to commit to include women & people of color in every pool from which Board nominees are chosen and to state this in their Board Refreshment Policies and/or Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee Charter)
5. Consideration of candidates outside of CEOs for board positions.
–Liz Dunshee, TheCorporateCounsel.net August 5, 2019
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