In response to continued efforts to add professionals from diverse backgrounds to public company boards of directors, Equilar, the leading provider of corporate leadership data solutions, has partnered with Agenda, the Financial Times’ publication for corporate board members, on the release of the Agenda Diversity 100, a list of pre-vetted and board-ready candidates from underrepresented demographic groups.
The Agenda Diversity 100 utilizes the Equilar BoardEdge platform, which is bolstered by partnerships that encompass the Equilar Diversity Network, a “registry of registries” of board-ready executives from leading ethnic, LGBTQ and gender diversity organizations.
“One of the biggest barriers to increased diversity on boards is the perception of a lack of qualified candidates from underrepresented groups,” said David Chun, Founder and CEO of Equilar. “The Agenda Diversity 100 presents a go-to list of board-ready candidates, debunking the myth of the ‘pipeline problem.’ This directory shines a bright spotlight on exemplary individuals among the sea of qualified diverse candidates who will bring our boards into the next generation.”
“Diversifying boards, which have remained largely male and white in the United States, requires deliberate recruitment choices,” said Melissa Anderson, Managing Editor for Agenda. “We know from our internal data that corporate directors are looking intently for board-ready candidates from groups that have been underrepresented in boardrooms. What sets this directory apart is the curation by our esteemed selection committee — a group consisting of directors on blue-chip boards, investors, former regulators and important voices from the corporate governance space — and the vetting done by our team of independent journalists.”
Racial and ethnic minorities have been added to boards of directors in the U.S. at an increasing pace in recent years, yet they continue to be underrepresented by large factors in comparison to their share of the population and the workforce. Individuals representing racial and ethnic minorities now sit in nearly 20% of board seats at the largest U.S. companies by revenue, according to Equilar data.
The individuals featured in the directory were nominated and confirmed by well-respected board directors and other governance experts to have the leadership and strategic skills necessary to add value to a board.
The report’s definition of “diverse” is based on California’s recently passed law AB 979, which requires boards of directors at publicly held companies to include at least one member of an “underrepresented community” by the end of 2021 and two or three members of those communities by the end of 2022, depending on the size of the board. The law defines underrepresented communities as the following groups: Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or [those] who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
About the Agenda Diversity 100
The Agenda Diversity 100 is a directory of board-ready director candidates from groups historically underrepresented in the boardroom. The directory was curated by a selection committee consisting of board directors, investors and other corporate governance experts and each honoree was vetted by our team of independent journalists. Agenda is the Financial Times’ publication for corporate board members.
About the Equilar Diversity Network
Launched in September 2016 to advance diverse representation in boardrooms across the globe, EDN now consists of more than 45 partner organizations and nearly 170,000 diverse board candidates, supplementing nearly one million candidate profiles already in the Equilar BoardEdge database. EDN is a consortium of leading diversity-focused organizations consolidating robust registries of board-ready executives into one searchable database. Since the Network was founded, more than 2,000 members across EDN partner organizations have been appointed to corporate boards.
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.