Greyscale photo of people in a boardroom
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
Leadership News Briefs

Women Corporate Directors Supports SEC Approval of Nasdaq’s Push for Greater Board Diversity

The Women Corporate Directors Foundation (WCD) applauds Nasdaq‘s proposal to improve board diversity. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved this proposal. It will affect more than 3,000 companies listed on the SEC’s exchange. The WCD is the largest community of women board members around the globe.

Greater diversity, stronger economies

The diversity and disclosure requirements demonstrate the powerful link that Nasdaq sees between board composition and Nasdaq’s purpose as was stated in its December 1 announcement. That purpose is to champion inclusive growth and prosperity to power stronger economies.’

Nasdaq’s move is powerful in its potential to effect change, to scale, as three-quarters of its listed companies would fall short of the benchmarks that are being proposed, according to Nasdaq’s own review.

Many industry leaders are incorporating diversity into their business and investing models. Nasdaq is one of them. Investing giants BlackRock and State Street have added their voices to the movement to accelerate gender and racial diversity on boards. They have threatened to vote against directors who fail to act.

Making true progress towards board diversity

The continuing show of support from these investment industry heavyweights reveals the momentum of a real movement. It is bolstered by a recent rule from Goldman Sachs’. The rule states that it will not take a company public unless it has at least one diverse board member.

“This movement is about writing a new chapter in corporate governance – visionary in its goal to capture expertise from an underrepresented group of highly qualified professionals to effectively respond to the increased complexity businesses are facing today,” said Susan C. Keating, CEO of WCD.

WCD’s Lead Director and Partner at KPMG LLPCamille Asaro, stated, “There is a pipeline of exceptionally qualified women filling C-level and comparable positions today – including women in racial, ethnic and other minority groups – who are eager to help boards fulfill a greater vision for 2021 and beyond. WCD alone has a network of 2,400 members – directors of public or large privately-held companies – from dozens of countries around the world.”

“The steps we are all taking – Nasdaq, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and others – toward assuring greater board diversity are critical and necessary. Looking back in history, progress often seems inevitable. But inevitability usually disguises the true decades of hard work and advocacy, failures and re-tries, and using everything you’ve got to make just some of the gains you envision,” said Keating.

We honor the trajectory and the movement and are proud to be a part of it.

For media inquiries, please contact Megan Mollan of the Dalton Agency at 954-600-2473 or mmollan@daltonagency.com.

About Women Corporate Directors Education and Development Foundation, Inc.

The Women Corporate Directors Education and Development Foundation, Inc. (WCD) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the WCD Foundation has chapters around the world. WCD Foundation members serve on numerous boards of publicly traded companies, large private companies, and family-run businesses globally. For more information, visit www.womencorporatedirectors.org or follow us on Twitter @WomenCorpDirs, #WCDboards.

A new report from Equilar shows that more than one-quarter of board seats in the Russell 3000 belong to women.