Setting New Records – Press Release

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115 Companies Appointed a Woman to their Board for the First Time, Setting a Record for the Thirty Percent Coalition’s “Adopt a Company” Campaign

Nearly 400 Companies Named a Woman to Their Boards Since 2012 Thanks to the Coalition’s Institutional Investor Members

Boca Raton, FL – July 16, 2020 – Representing more than $6 trillion in assets under management, institutional investor members of the Thirty Percent Coalition engaged over 250 companies during the past year as part of the Coalition’s “Adopt a Company” campaign. Following these engagements, achievements include:

  • 115 companies appointed a woman to their boards, most for the first time
  • 30 companies appointed a second woman to their board
  • 37 shareholder proposals filed urging action and disclosure on board diversity
  • 33 of the shareholder proposals were withdrawn following mutually agreeable outcomes
  • 390 companies have appointed a woman to the board, most for the first time, since the “Adopt a Company” campaign launched in 2012
    Results are derived from the Coalition’s database and data provided by  Factset

“We are encouraged by the progress achieved this year. Our investors are engaging companies at an accelerated pace with positive responses. The request that diversity, inclusive of race, ethnicity and gender be considered as a priority in board composition, along with the addition of the Rooney Rule1, is being well received,” stated Mary Morris, co-chair of the Coalition’s Institutional Investor Committee and Investment Officer at CalSTRS.Coalition Member

“The number of diversity resolutions increased by over 20% this year. We continue to be optimistic in light of agreements reached through collaborative discussions between investors and management representatives. It is important to note the growing number of investors willing to vote “No” on Nominating Committee members or against the whole board if a board is inadequately diverse.

This sends a strong signal that a record of poor board diversity is a failure in governance,” said Tim Smith, co-chair of the Coalition’s Institutional Investor Committee and Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement at Boston Trust Walden.Coalition Member

Call to Action: Given the growing momentum for a wider diversity on boards, as well as greater disclosure, the Thirty Percent Coalition asks companies to undertake the following:

  • Disclosure in the Proxy of board composition inclusive of gender, race, and ethnicity
  • Language committing to diversity in Governance charters to ensure the board is casting the net wide for the best talent to help them meet their long-term business plans and strategy
  • Disclosure of future plans to make progress on board diversity
  • Adaptation of the Rooney Rule2 for board candidates and senior leadership
  • Consideration of board candidates with leadership skills outside those of the typical business CEO, i.e. academia, regulatory, etc.

33 of the shareholder proposals were withdrawn following mutually agreeable outcomes

390 companies have appointed a woman to the board, most for the first time, since the “Adopt a Company” campaign launched in 2012*

 *Results are derived from the Coalition’s database and data provided by FactSet.

 “We are encouraged by the progress achieved this year. Our investors are engaging companies at an accelerated pace with positive responses. The request that diversity, inclusive of race, ethnicity and gender be considered as a priority in board composition, along with the addition of the Rooney Rule1, is being well received,” stated Mary Morris, co-chair of the Coalition’s Institutional Investor Committee and Investment Officer at CalSTRS.

  “The number of diversity resolutions increased by over 20% this year. We continue to be optimistic in light of agreements reached through collaborative discussions between investors and management representatives. It is important to note the growing number of investors willing to vote “No” on Nominating Committee members or against the whole board if a board is inadequately diverse. This sends a strong signal that a record of poor board diversity is a failure in governance,” said Tim Smith, co-chair of the Coalition’s Institutional Investor Committee and Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement at Boston Trust Walden.

Call to Action: Given the growing momentum for a wider diversity on boards, as well as greater disclosure, the Thirty Percent Coalition asks companies to undertake the following:

  • Disclosure in the Proxy of board composition inclusive of gender, race, and ethnicity
  • Language committing to diversity in Governance charters to ensure the board is casting the net wide for the best talent to help them meet their long-term business plans and strategy
  • Disclosure of future plans to make progress on board diversity
  • Adaptation of the Rooney Rule2 for board candidates and senior leadership
  • Consideration of board candidates with leadership skills outside those of the typical business CEO, i.e. academia, regulatory, etc.

1 Commitment to adding women and people of color to the candidate pool.

2 Rooney Rule named after Dan Rooney, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former chairman of the league’s diversity committee. The rule is based on a National Football League policy that requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates. Request is for each company to commit to include women and people of color in every pool from which Board nominees are chosen and to state this in their Board Refreshment Policies and/or Nominating and Corporate Governance Charter

...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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