The Thirty Percent Coalition Expands its Mission Statement: Calls for Diversity in Senior Leadership

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Coalition Influences Companies to Increase Board Diversity – Now Also Encourages Companies to Increase All Management Diversity

March 2, 2022 – The Thirty Percent Coalition (the “Coalition”) has expanded its mission to formally call on companies to increase diversity – inclusive of gender, race, and ethnicity – in senior leadership ranks. Leadership is broadly defined as a director, vice president or executive officer role. The new mission statement is:

The Thirty Percent Coalition will advocate for diversity on corporate boards and in senior leadership, promoting women and people of color.

This objective reinforces the Coalition’s founding strategy of increasing diversity – inclusive of gender, race, and ethnicity – on corporate boards. 

“The Coalition’s promotion of senior leadership diversity will strengthen its continued advocacy for increasing diverse directors in the corporate boardroom. This mission refinement will reinforce the Coalition’s members in their successful engagements with companies to achieve identifiable results,” said Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane, Executive Director of the Thirty Percent Coalition.

Coalition members hold over $8 trillion in assets under management and continue to achieve measurable outcomes. To date, its multiyear “Adopt a Company” campaign has resulted in over 500 public companies having appointed a woman to their boards, many for the first time. In addition, many of the Coalition’s private equity members have made considerable progress to increase gender diversity on their portfolio company boards and establish progressive workplace initiatives.

“The pipeline for talent is key to finding new candidates for board service. If the workforce is not diverse, then the candidate pool remains homogenous and not conducive to a diverse board,” commented Julie Kanak, Chair of the Thirty Percent Coalition board of directors.

As Part of its Expanded Mission, Coalition Encourages Prominent Disclosure of EEO-1 Data

Private sector employers with over 100 employees are required to submit demographic workforce data (including categories by gender, race, and ethnicity) referred to as “EEO-1.”[1] Investors are seeking public disclosure of this information to facilitate dialogue about how to improve the company’s demographics. While all workplace diversity is important, investors will focus on diversity in senior leadership as a major impetus for expanding diversity in the boardroom.

“With our work on the demand side of the diversity equation – to influence companies to increase diversity on their boards and now in senior leadership – the Coalition remains collaborative. We encourage companies to realize their best performance possible,” continued Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane. “The Coalition believes disclosure is important in achieving diversity goals and will continue to encourage companies to provide information on board composition as well as prominently displaying EEO-1 data. The Coalition’s members realize that many companies are at the beginning of the process and disclosure of the data is the first step. Investors want to see a willingness from the company to improve.”

As Corporate Board Diversity Increases, There’s Still More Work to Do

This emphasis on senior leadership diversity does not mean the goal of increasing board diversity has been achieved. However, while the increase in gender and racial diversity on corporate boards is still considered slow, progress is being made. According to a recent article in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance[2], newly elected directors in 2021 brought greater gender diversity to the boardroom. However, racial and ethnic diversity continued to lag. Women’s total representation on Russell 3000 boards increased from 21.9 percent in 2020 to 24.4 percent in 2021.

About the Thirty Percent Coalition

Founded in 2011, the Thirty Percent Coalition—also known as the “Coalition for U.S. board diversity®”—is a pioneer in promoting diversity in the corporate boardroom. Its mission is to advocate for diversity on corporate boards and in senior leadership, promoting women and people of color. The Coalition provides a national forum where its members develop strategies to influence companies to increase diversity in senior leadership and boardrooms. Membership includes public companies, private equity, institutional investors, state treasurers, professional services firms, and advocacy groups working together for the first time. In 2022, Coalition members hold over $8 trillion in assets under management. There is no other organization of this kind in the U.S.

Company and Media Contact:  Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane, Executive Director, Thirty Percent Coalition

Email: Phone: (209) 505-3690