ION Issues Board Diversity Policy Urging U.S. Public Companies to Take Action

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Multiple Studies Report Positive Economic Impact from Critical Mass of Women in Boardroom

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With academia, corporations and industry researchers reporting that a critical mass of women in the boardroom has a positive economic impact, ION urges public companies to take the following actions.

The InterOrganization Network (ION) has released its official statement on corporate board diversity in conjunction with the launch of the “Gender Equality as an Investment Concept” seminars co-hosted by ION and PAX World Management LLC.

With academia, corporations and industry researchers reporting that a critical mass of women in the boardroom has a positive economic impact, ION urges public companies to take the following actions:

  • Adopt a policy to consider women for every board search
  • Develop a board diversity profile that includes a critical mass (three or more) of women
  • Publicly disclose the board’s diversity profile or the milestones and timeframe for achieving its diversity goals
  • Establish clear procedures to encourage and consider board nominations of qualified women from long-term shareowners and other interested parties
  • Make the board chair or nominating committee available to meet/discuss potential women candidates and answer questions about management’s slate and the board’s diversity policies/goals at shareholder meetings
  • Reach out to many sources, including ION, that can identify significant numbers of qualified women candidates

Studies such as ”[The Corporate Library, Beyond the Boilerplate: The Performance Impacts of Board Diversity” (July, 2010) report that gender diversity increases board effectiveness in terms of both company oversight and assessment of long-term economic value. While ION does not endorse quotas as the preferred means to increase board diversity, it does advocate gender diversity that includes at least a critical mass of women.

ION is carrying this message nationwide through a series of “Gender Equality as an Investment Concept” seminars co-sponsored by Pax World. The series launched with an event this week in Tampa, Florida. Additional seminars will be held this year in Boston, Mass. on July 21; in Nashville, Tenn. on October 24; in San Francisco, Calif. on October 26 and in Kansas City, Missouri on November 9.

About ION
The InterOrganization Network (http://www.ionwomen.org) is a national nonprofit organization representing more than 10,000 women dedicated to increasing representation of women on for-profit boards and in executive suites. ION creates a national voice for its 13 regional member organizations to influence, build awareness and expand opportunities and connections. The organization urges public companies to take action to achieve a critical mass of women in the boardroom, ION’s founding sponsor is KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm and U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG International's member firms have 137,000 professionals, including more than 7,600 partners in 144 countries.

Contacts:
ION President Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane: charlotte[dot]ottomane[at]nvestcom[dot]com 561-395-4581
c3PR Principal Mar Junge: mar[at]c3pr[dot]com, 408-730-8506

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Mar Junge
c3PR
408-730-8506
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