Institutional Investors Encourage Corporate Board Diversity

February 28, 2013 ( Institutional Investors have filed shareholders’ resolutions with 20 companies with no women on their boards for a vote at their annual meetings.

The investors filing these resolutions are urging these companies to adopt charter language supporting board diversity and to institute a practice of including women and minority candidates on their boards. The Thirty Percent Coalition Institutional Investor Committee, co-chaired by Janice Hester-Amey, portfolio manager of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), and Timothy Smith, senior vice president at the Boston-based investment firm Walden Asset Management, is leading this initiative.   

“Not only do women and minority directors help companies reach broader markets, but they also bring independent thought and perspectives to the table, which may not exist in a homogeneous board,” said Christine DeGroot, an analyst at Calvert Investments, one of the filers of the resolutions. “By incorporating gender and ethnic diversity into their formal director selection criteria, companies demonstrate that they recognize the value of corporate diversity and assure shareholders that it will remain a priority regardless of changes in leadership.”   

Companies receiving the resolution include: 

  • Urban Outfitters Inc.; 
  • Linear Technology Corporation; 
  • Teradyne Inc.; 
  • Leucadia National Corporation; 
  • Republic Services Inc.; 
  • Stericycle,Inc.; 
  • Hospitality Properties Trust; 
  • MetroPCS Communications Inc.; 
  • QEP Resources; 
  • Superior Energy; 
  • Hartford Financial; 
  • Zimmer Holdings; 
  • Lowe’s Companies Inc.; 
  • Rackspacie Hosting Inc; 
  • MEMC Electronic Materials Inc.; 
  • B/E Aerospace Inc; 
  • IPG Photonics Corporation; 
  • ResMed Inc.; 
  • Amphenol Corporation; and 
  • Equinix. 

Filers of these resolutions include CalSTRS, New York State Common Retirement Fund, Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Mercy Investment Services, Calvert Investments, Trillium Asset Management, Pax World Mutual Funds, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, United Methodist Foundation and Portico Benefit Services of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.   

More information about the Thirty Percent Coalition is at