Thursday, April 7, 2011

WGF & PA Treasurer McCord announce new policy initiatives to increase gender equity

From the Women and Girls Foundation --

On Tuesday, April 6, 2011 the Women and Girls Foundation hosted a press conference with PA Treasurer Rob McCord to stress the importance of increasing gender diversity on corporate boards. Five companies on Pittsburgh's "Top 50 in Business" were honored for their leadership on this topic and the Treasurer made an important announcement about Treasury’s efforts to engage in Institutional Advocacy around this topic.

At the press conference, Treasurer McCord presented proclamations honoring HFF, Allegheny Valley Bancorp, Alcoa, First Commonwealth, and PNC Financial Services. Each corporation is a publicly traded company included among Pittsburgh’s “Top 50” that have at least three or more women currently serving on their board of directors. The Pennsylvania Treasury has partnered with The Women and Girls Foundation to research best practices by other state Treasurers to improve portfolio performance and the board diversity of companies in which they invest. Treasurer McCord explained that the Pennsylvania Treasury, as an institutional investor, is encouraging increased corporate board diversity. Under the department’s amended proxy guidelines, the State Treasury will:
Manually vote on corporate board nominee slates via a formalized proxy voting system.
Correspond with company CEOs, board chairs, and nominating committees that fail to include women directors on corporate board nominee slates.
Maintain an open dialogue with corporate leadership and board nominating committees to include representation of women and minorities;
Sponsor, submit, and support shareholder resolutions that seek a greater representation of women on corporate boards;
Encourage amending board nominating committee charters to ensure that female candidates are routinely sought in board searches; and
Encourage other state treasurers and colleagues to join Pennsylvania in taking these actions.
”We are thrilled by today’s announcement by the Treasurer,” said Heather Arnet, WGF CEO. “Through identifying board diversity as a priority within Treasury proxy guidelines, the Treasurer is making real impact on this issue at the systemic level.”

Video of the press conference here ...

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