It’s been two years since State Street Global Advisors first launched the Fearless Girl campaign, and since then more companies have responded to the asset manager’s call to action by either adding a female director or committing to do so.
Concluding its second year, out of the 1,265 companies identified globally by State Street that lack a female board member, 423 have now responded to the firm’s call by adding a female director to their previously all-male boards and another 22 have committed to do so, the firm said in the update.
On the campaign’s second anniversary, the firm also announced that it has brought its Fearless Girl campaign to London with a new statue in Paternoster Square.
According to Catherine McGuinness, chair of the policy and resources committee at the City of London Corp., Fearless Girl is a welcome addition to the City.
“This builds upon the City of London Corporation’s continuing efforts to increase the recognition of women in the City’s public realm,” McGuinness said in a statement. “I hope that Fearless Girl will serve as a reminder of the progress we have made and the progress we still need to make.”
David Schwimmer, CEO of London Stock Exchange Group, also lent the London Stock Exchange Group’s full support to Fearless Girl’s mission of raising awareness of the importance of diversity on boards and within senior corporate leadership.
The update demonstrates continued progress for State Street Global Advisors’ gender diversity asset stewardship programs in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Japan, Canada and Continental Europe.
State Street escalated its board diversity voting guideline in September. The initial voting guideline dictated that State Street Global Advisors would vote against the nominating and governance committee chair if the company failed to commit to action in the near term.
Starting in 2020 in the U.S., U.K. and Australian markets, and in 2021 in Japan, Canada and Continental Europe, State Street Global Advisors will vote against the entire slate of board members on the nominating committee if a company does not have at least one woman on its board, and has not engaged in successful dialogue on State Street Global Advisors’ board gender diversity program for three consecutive years.
According to State Street, companies and shareholders worldwide have been inspired to focus on the issue of gender diversity as a result of Fearless Girl campaign. For example, since the firm last reported impact numbers, it has seen the number of companies adding a female director increase by 57% in the U.K. and 48% in the U.S.
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