Treasurer Magaziner: Women's Equality Day is a Call to Action

Women's Equality Day commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees American women the right to vote, and raises awareness about the importance of gender equality in all walks of life.

"Today we are reminded of the sacrifices made by suffragists, the progress that's been made over the past century, and the work that still needs to be done to achieve true equality for women," said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "From Main Street to Wall Street, women must have an equal seat at the table."

In order to advance women's equality in the corporate America, Treasurer Magaziner launched a program to use the influence of the Treasurer's office to pressure publicly-traded companies to improve the diversity or their boards of directors. Under this policy, the Rhode Island pension system only votes in favor of slates of candidates that would lead to a board being at least 30% diverse.

Rhode Island was only the second state to implement such a policy, and has implemented it in coordination with the Thirty Percent Coalition, a national organization devoted to increasing the representation of women on corporate boards.

Since Treasurer Magaziner implemented the policy, dozens of companies have improved their board diversity to meet the 30% threshold, including Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, Intel, and Nordstrom. A list of companies that have improved the diversity of their boards, following engagement from the Rhode Island Treasurer's Office, is below.

"Treasurer Magaziner and his team continue to play a strong leadership role in our Coalition as we work together to promote women and people of color on corporate boards and executive teams," said Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane - Executive Director, The Thirty Percent Coalition. Beginning in 2016, the Rhode Island Treasurer's Office began engaging with publicly-traded companies that did not meet a 30% board diversity threshold. By 2019, the companies listed below met that threshold, following engagement with the Treasurer's Office.

Amazon.com, Inc. Amgen, Inc. Annaly Capital Management, Inc. Arrow Electronics, Inc. Booking Holdings Inc. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. Centene Corporation Constellation Brands, Inc. Costco Wholesale Corp. CSX Corporation Eastman Chemical Company eBay Inc. Emerson Electric Co. F5 Networks, Inc. Facebook, Inc. Fortive Corporation Henry Schein, Inc. Humana Inc. Ingersoll-Rand Public Limited Company Intel Corporation Lockheed Martin Corporation Marathon Petroleum Corporation Nordstrom, Inc. Norfolk Southern Corporation NRG Energy, Inc. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Robert Half International Inc. Rockwell Automation, Inc. Targa Resources Corp. The Mosaic Company The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Walmart Inc. Xilinx, Inc.

...we find that banks with more gender diversity on their board perform better once the composition of these boards reaches a critical level of gender diversity, corresponding to a board female share of around 13-17 percent.

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