Equilar today announced a strategic partnership with Nasdaq to help companies with board composition planning through access to its BoardEdge platform. Last week, Nasdaq announced proposed changes to its U.S. listing standards related to board diversity and disclosure. Through the BoardEdge platform and the Equilar Diversity Network (EDN), the partnership will enable Nasdaq-listed companies to access a large community of highly-qualified, diverse, board-ready candidates to amplify director search efforts.
“In making the proposed changes to our listing standards, it was important to offer additional solutions to our clients to assist them with the new board diversity requirements we put forth,” said Nelson Griggs, President, Nasdaq Stock Exchange. “We recognize that companies want to leverage their own network to create a candidate pipeline, while also tapping into a broader community of candidates. Making Equilar’s BoardEdge available to our clients is an important step to support our listed companies in this effort.”
Since 2016, Equilar has worked closely with nearly 40 EDN partners to increase visibility for diverse board candidates, with over 2,000 EDN members appointed to corporate boards.
“Combining efforts with Nasdaq in this groundbreaking effort will accelerate board opportunities for diverse candidates around the world,” said David Chun, founder and CEO of Equilar. “We support Nasdaq’s position and look forward to working in partnership to continue our efforts to advance boardroom diversity for all underrepresented groups.”
Equilar data shows minority representation on public boards has seen slower progress with 8.3% Black/African-American, 4.9% LatinX, and 4.6% Asian/Pacific Islander representation in the top 500 public companies by revenue. Gender diversity efforts have seen improved progress with women now holding nearly 25% of board seats, up from 15% in 2016 when Equilar began quarterly reporting. Reaching gender parity is now attainable within the new decade, as opposed to being decades away.
“As we know, what gets measured gets done. Nasdaq’s positioning to facilitate more diverse corporate boards advances a change that is long past due,” said Crystal E. Ashby, Interim President and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council. “Leveraging the Equilar Diversity Network and BoardEdge platform means that companies can no longer rely on the false pretense that they do not have access to qualified Black and diverse board candidates. Equilar is handing them the response to a question that should never be asked – where is the Black or diverse talent? Now the onus is on them to act with intentionality.”
“As a proud part of the Equilar Diversity Network, and serving as a primary source in identifying Latino/a talent, the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) applauds Nasdaq’s critical initiative for greater board diversity and commends the partnership with Equilar, a premier diversity data source,” said Esther Aguilera, CEO of Latino Corporate Directors Association.
“As a founding partner of the Equilar Diversity Network, Ascend Pinnacle has been leading the way on diversity initiatives supporting Asian American professionals. The partnership between Nasdaq and Equilar will accelerate the pace of progress for all underrepresented groups,” said Janet Wong, lead executive advisor at Ascend Pinnacle. “Our members applaud Equilar and Nasdaq for taking this much-needed step to advance diversity in corporate boardrooms.”
“Out Leadership is thrilled that our partners Equilar and Nasdaq are seeking to make progress on Board diversity mandatory. Nasdaq reaching out to the SEC is both a crucial and symbolic step in joining our efforts since 2010 to ensure greater representation of LGBT+ people in Boardrooms as part of our Quorum initiative,” said Todd Sears, Out Leadership CEO and Founder. “Leading companies will receive another clear message that board diversity, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, is a condition to be present on the stock market. On this occasion, Out Leadership is proud to announce that Quorum has joined the Equilar Diversity Network as its newest partner.”
Equilar is the leading provider of corporate leadership data solutions. Companies of all sizes rely on Equilar for their most important business decisions, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over $20 trillion in assets. Equilar offers data-driven solutions for business development, recruiting, executive compensation and shareholder engagement that bring together business leaders to drive exceptional results. Founded in 2000, Equilar is cited regularly by Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets. Learn more at equilar.com.