30% Coalition

Thirty Percent Coalition Commends 22 Public Companies  Adding Women to their Boards of Directors

Major Mutual Funds, Pension Funds, Women’s Organizations across US Participate in Letter-Writing Campaigns Urging 168 Public Companies to Increase Board Diversity, Improve Process for Appointing New Directors, Amend Nominating Committee Charters

Fort Washington, PA – June 17, 2015 – Following the launch of the Thirty Percent Coalition’s Adopt a Company campaign in 2012, 22 public companies have now nominated a woman to their boards of directors. This accomplishment follows a powerful collaboration between the Coalition’s Institutional Investor Committee and other institutional investors, representing more than $3 trillion in assets under management, and women’s organization across the country. The campaign, conducted through a series of letters to 168 public companies1 with no women on their boards of directors, calls on companies to improve diversity on their boards by:
Including women and minority candidates in the pool from which board nominees are chosen.
Expanding director searches to include nominees from both non-executive corporate positions and experience in non-traditional environments such as government, academia and non-profit organizations.
Two companies recently embracing boardroom diversity were highlighted in a Pax World news release earlier this month.

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Institutional Investors Working With Thirty Percent Coalition
Continue to Push for Increased Gender Diversity in the Boardroom

Ft. Washington, Penn., Updated list and memo June 24, 2015– The Thirty Percent Coalition’s Institutional Investors continued their active “Adopt a Company” campaign following a series of letters sent to approximately 160 companies in the S&P 500 and Russell 1000 with no women on their boards. The third letter writing campaign in the fall of 2014 was supported by representatives of investors representing $3 trillion in assets under management, signed by Pension Funds and State Officials, Mutual Funds and Investment Managers, Foundations, Religious Institutions, and Women’s Organizations across the US. This campaign included many signatories who are not officially members of the Coalition and highlights the influence that the Thirty Percent Coalition’s Institutional Investor Committee has in drawing supporters to this issue. To date, 38 responses have been received from companies that received the third letter and include:

Alliance Data

Linear Technology Corp

SL Green Realty Corp

Brandywine Realty Trust

MAA Stericycle

CF Industries

Mettler-Toledo International, Inc. Superior Energy Services

Chesapeake Energy

Monster Beverages Triumph Group

City National

Nabors Industries The HollyFrontier Corporation

Copart

National Fuel Thor Industries
EXCO Resources, Inc Navistar Unit Corporation
Fleetcore NVR Whiting Petroleum
Fortinet Oceaneering International, Inc  
Gentex Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc  
Garmin Precision Castparts Corp.  
Hospitality Properties Trust Rollins, Inc.  
Intrepid Potash Roper Industries  
IPG Photonics SBA Communications  
Kirby Corporation Seacor Holdings  

 

Investor influence has been expressed through letters, dialogue with companies, and shareholder resolutions by institutional shareholders. In past years, many companies agreed to amend their nominating committee charters and process for seeking new directors. Success of the Thirty Percent Coalition’s campaigns has been realized as 22 of the companies contacted have now added women to their boards.

Approximately 25 Board Diversity Resolutions have been filed for votes at 2015 stockholder meetings. Shareholder proposals this season are asking for a report on the Board's plans to increase diverse representation, as well as an assessment of the effectiveness of these efforts, or adoption of a policy that the board will seek to enhance board diversity beyond current levels to ensure that a wide range of female and minority candidates are included in the pool of candidates nominated.

Investors argue that inclusive language in governance documents signals a commitment to board diversity and many companies have institutionalized such a commitment in response to shareholder engagement. However, investors want to understand how Boards are changing their board composition after making revisions in governance guidelines. Many resolutions have been withdrawn in the last two years as a result of agreements.

In addition, New York City pension funds have led and filed groundbreaking shareholder resolutions seeking "Access to the Proxy" or the ability for an investor to nominate Board members for election. NYC filed this specific resolution with 24 companies that had little or no diversity on their boards. Specifically, focus companies had either no women on their board or one woman and little apparent additional racial or ethnic diversity.

A sample board diversity resolution is attached as Appendix 1.

The Sponsors of the Resolutions include:

  • 1. State and City Pension Funds – New York State Common Retirement Fund, State of Connecticut, CalSTRS, City of New York and City of Philadelphia;
  • 2. Investment Management Firms – PAX World, Walden Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management, Boston Common Asset Management, and Calvert Asset Management, among others;
  • 3. Investors – Mercy Investment Services, United Methodist Church Foundation, Portico Benefits, Episcopal Church Pension Fund.

A full list of companies receiving the board diversity resolution and filers of the resolutions is provided in Appendix 2.

For further information, please contact:

Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane
Executive Director, Thirty Percent Coalition
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(561) 789 6022

Anne Sheehan, co-chair of Thirty Percent Coalition Institutional Investor Committee
California State Teachers' Retirement System
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(916) 414-7410

Tim Smith, co-chair of Thirty Percent Coalition Institutional Investor Committee
Walden Asset Management
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(617) 726 7155

 


 Appendix 1 - Sample Resolution

WHEREAS: “Company” does not have any women on its Board of Directors.

We believe that diversity, inclusive of gender and race, is a critical attribute of a well-functioning board and a measure of sound corporate governance.

Research confirms a strong business case for diversity on corporate boards. For example, the August 2012 Credit-Suisse Research Report Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance links board diversity to better stock market and financial performance (higher return on equity, lower leverage, higher price/book ratios and improved growth prospects). The report suggests several explanations for this better performance including a stronger mix of leadership skills, improved understanding of consumer preferences (women control more than two-thirds of U.S. consumer spending), a larger candidate pool from which to pick top talent, and more attention to risk.

Numerous studies suggest a critical mass of at least three women directors strengthens corporate governance (research from Hebrew University, Wellesley Centers for Women, and University of Western Ontario.)

According to an October 2014 PwC survey of institutional investors representing more than $11 trillion in managed assets, “Nine out of 10 investors believe boards should be revisiting their director diversity policies, and 85% believe doing so will require addressing underlying impediments…”

Recognizing the benefits of diversity in corporate leadership and growing interest from institutional investors, investment firms are responding with new products and services. In 2014, U.K.-based Barclays launched an exchange-traded note based on an index of companies with female CEOs or directors (the latter with a threshold of 25 percent). In the U.S., Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Pax World Investments have also expanded their product offerings.

“Company” lags its peers with respect to the representation of women on its Board. Ninety-two percent of S&P 500 boards include at least one woman; the average is two women directors (2014 ISS Board Practices Study). Additionally, approximately 80 percent of Mid Cap companies and 63 percent of Small Cap companies have at least one woman director.

Resolved: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors report to shareholders by September 2015, at reasonable expense and omitting proprietary information, on plans to increase diverse representation on the Board as well as an assessment of the effectiveness of these efforts. The report should include a description of how the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, consistent with its fiduciary duties, takes every reasonable step to:

1. include women and minority candidates in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen; and
2. expand director searches to include nominees from both non-executive corporate positions and experience in non-traditional environments such as government, academia, and non-profit organizations.

Supporting Statement:
We propose that the requested report should also address the following:
Changes to the Nominating and Governance Committee Charter to embed a commitment to diversity inclusive of gender, race and ethnicity in Board searches.
The number of women and minorities in the candidate pool in the most recent 3 year period.
A summary of challenges and plans to address them.


Appendix 2 - 2015 Board Diversity Resolutions*

 

Ticker

Company

Lead Filer

Co-filers/Notes

ADC

Agree Reality

UAW

AVX

AVX Corporation

State of Connecticut

CMG

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Trillium

 

CTXS

Citrix Systems

Trillium

 CNS

Cohen & Steers

Walden

Filing withdrawn based on an agreement

DISCA

Discovery Communications Inc.

Mercy Investments, Trillium, Calvert

Mercy Health, Portico Benefits, Connecticut

EBAY

eBay

Trillium

New York State Common Retirement Fund, Pax World, United Methodist Foundation

GRMN

Garmin Ltd.

Calvert

New York State Common Retirement Fund

KOS

Kosmos Energy Ltd

State of Connecticut

LNKD

LinkedIn

New York State Common Retirement Fund

MNST

Monster Beverage Corp

New York State Common Retirement Fund

State of Connecticut, Calvert, North Carolina and City of Philadelphia Pension Funds

RPT

Ramco-Gershenson Properties

UAW

SBAC

SBA Communications Corporation

Calvert

SLGN

Silgan Holdings

Walden

Filing withdrawn due to technical reasons

SKX

Skechers

New York State Common Retirement Fund

CalSTRS

SPF

Standard Pacific

New York State Common Retirement Fund

URBN

Urban Outfitters

New York State Common Retirement Fund

State of Connecticut, CalSTRS

 

*Note: Not all investors have made their engagements public to date. We expect additional company names to be added to the list as the proxy season moves forward.

 

 


Champions of Change Organize to Promote
Female Representation in the U.S. Boardroom

Seven Corporate Leaders form the Initial Group of Champions

Fort Washington, PA – March 25, 2014 – A new group of corporate leaders has been formed in the U.S. to promote gender diversity in the corporate boardroom.  The Champions of Change consists of an initial core group of four men and three women with extensive board leadership experience and records of advancing diversity. 

 The Champions of Change, an initiative created and organized by the Thirty Percent Coalition, will use their collective influence and the personal commitment of each member to act as public advocates for increasing the number of women across public company boards and to encourage other leaders to embrace this mission.  The joining of these leaders in a common effort reflects the essence of the Coalition as a collaborative venture of leading organizations and individuals committed to the goal of board gender diversity. The Champions of Change initial group includes:

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"Thirty years ago, we would never have thought that there would be so few women in the boardrooms."
~ Chairwoman of the board of a holding of an international company