CalPERS, CalSTRS See Results From Initiative To Add Women To All-Male Boards

Board room

Earlier this summer, CalPERS and CalSTRS teamed up to try to improve the diversity of all-male corporate boards in California. The funds’ research had shown that 131 California-based companies had no women on their boards, so the pension giants sent letters to those companies to gauge their interest in improving the male to female ratio of their boards.

Early returns are in, and the initiative is already producing results. From IR Magazine:

At least 15 companies based in California have added a female director to their all-male boards and 35 have indicated a willingness to do so after a board gender diversity campaign launched by state pension giants CalSTRS and CalPERS targeting 131 companies in the state.

CalSTRS, the largest educator-only pension fund in the world with $187 bn in assets under management, along with CalPERS, which manages some $301 bn, began the campaign four months ago to target companies in its home state with all-male boards.

As part of the campaign, the two pension funds sent a letter to the companies offering their expertise to help them appoint women to their boards. Along with the letter, the campaigners included a copy of the National Association of Corporate Directors report ‘The Diverse Board: Moving from Interest to Action’ to illustrate the potential advantages of appointing women to a board.

CalPERS and CalSTRS started the campaign after learning that nearly 25 percent of the 400 largest publicly traded companies in California had no women on their boards. Only two of those 400 companies had boards where a majority of members were female.

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